Monday, 22 February 2010

Abbey Road Not For Sale


Here is the full statement from EMI, released today, announcing it is not selling Abbey Road Studios, but looking for a third party investor to help "revitalise" it and provide, to quote EMI, "access to artists and, where possible, members of the public":

EMI welcomes the reported acceleration of English Heritage's plans to list Abbey Road and supports such a listing as an appropriate way of protecting our world famous music heritage site. In response to recent press speculation, EMI confirms that it is holding preliminary discussions for the revitalisation of Abbey Road with interested and appropriate third parties.

When Terra Firma acquired EMI in 2007, it made the preservation of Abbey Road a priority. Abbey Road studios had, for a number of years, been losing money and we have developed plans to revitalise the studios. These plans would involve a substantial injection of new capital.

Since November 2009, EMI has held discussions with a number of parties with a view to them financing these plans and maintaining this unique venue. At all times, these plans have focussed on providing access to artists and, where possible members of the public.

In mid-2009, we did receive an offer to buy Abbey Road for in excess of £30 million but this was rejected since we believe that Abbey Road should remain in EMI's ownership.


So much from EMI. But why haven't they said anything about this before? Financial Times, who broke the news story about an imminent sale of the Abbey Road studios last week, today quoted a source "close to EMI" who said, "The scale of the outcry has brought it home to everyone what a core asset it is. The door has been closed on a sale."

In the mean time, lots of newspapers and internet media have been reporting on the sale of Abbey Road Studios, but they have all been making one mistake in their non-research of their stories: Frequently, they are spreading the historical inaccuracy that "The Beatles named their last album after the studios". Quite the opposite is true, the studios were just called "EMI Recording Studios" all through the sixties. It was after the Beatles famous "Abbey Road" album (who took it's name from the street where the Beatles are crossing the road) had been such a success, that the studios changed their name. So once again, the Beatles set the standard.

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