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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
EMI buys Moby's label
Moby is Mute's biggest current artist
The independent record label that is home to Moby and Depeche Mode has been bought by ailing giant EMI.

EMI will pay 23m for Mute, which it said would provide an "immense wealth" of new talent.

It's a source of new musical trends and an integral part of the industry's future

Emmanuel de Buretel
The deal comes despite the fact that one in four acts already signed to EMI were said to be facing the axe after the company cut 1,800 jobs in March.

Mute, created in 1978, is also home to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Erasure and Goldfrapp.

It has more than 60 other rock and dance artists, most of whom are unknown to the general public.

"It's a source of new musical trends and an integral part of the industry's future," according to EMI Recorded Music chairman Emmanuel de Buretel.

Mute has had a licensing deal with Virgin Records, also owned by EMI, for more than 15 years.

'New talent'

"This deal is a natural progression of our relationship with Mute," Buretel said.

"I believe in the independent sector. It provides the business with an immense wealth of new talent."

EMI is in the middle of a huge global restructuring project after a 59m profit in 2000 turned into a 2m loss in 2001.

They already release records by Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, The Beatles, Blur and Radiohead.

The 23m will be paid over the next four years, with a possible 19m more for performance-related payments.

Monday saw the release of the new album by Moby, whose last release, Play, became Mute's most successful album of recent years after selling eight million copies.

Mute's founder, Daniel Miller, will continue to be in charge of all the company's global activities, EMI said.

BBC News Online reviews 18 Moby moves on
New album from the dance and blues maestro
See also:

20 Mar 02 | Business
EMI announces 1,800 job cuts
20 Mar 02 | Music
EMI cuts: What next?
05 Feb 02 | Business
EMI shake-up amid falling sales
23 Jan 02 | Music
EMI drops Mariah Carey
19 Nov 01 | Business
EMI profits wiped out
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