EMI has released a statement announcing it has no intentions to sell Abbey Road Studios.
Speculation had mounted following press reports, internet campaigns to sell the recording studio, and high-profile calls to save the building from developers. However, a sale was never officially announced by EMI, which claims it has been holding discussions over the building’s renovation and regeneration since November 2009.
The studio at 3 Abbey Road, London, has reportedly been losing money for the past two decades, despite its world-class reputation and recording environments. However, the public outcry at the prospect of a sale appears to have reminded the company what an asset the studios are.
EMI recently posted a £1.75 billion loss for the year to March 2009. It is thought to have considered the sale of Abbey Road in an attempt to reduce the record company’s debt from a 2007 leveraged buyout by Terra Firma, the private equity group led by the delightful Guy Hands.
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.
The Beatles recorded the majority of their music at Abbey Road, which changed its name from EMI Studios in the 1970s in recognition of the fame bestowed upon it by the group. EMI bought the Georgian townhouse for £100,000 in 1929, and it remains a working studio to this day.