Thursday, February 04, 2010
Anybody want to buy the world's most famous recording studio?
Today's announcement of the travails of Guy Hands' EMI is about more than the decline of the CD selling business. It also indicates that all companies bought on borrowed money are facing potentially catastrophic problems as the economy threatens to flatline. This applies as much to Manchester United and the government as it does to EMI, who paid £800 million in interest last year. If the banks decide to cut their losses the company will be passed around the business world like a fizzing cartoon bomb with everybody hoping that when the music stops they'll be left with the profitable bits and not the loss-makers. I've written a big piece about the decline of the recording studio for the next issue of The Word. One of the things I discovered is that the company's legendary studios at Abbey Road would be "in play" if anyone came along and was prepared to make a sensible offer. The problem, as in the case of the aforementioned football club, is that they can't afford to take a sensible offer when there's the distant prospect of an offer that attempts to put some value on the place's mystique. Any offers?