EMI (officially EMI Group Limited, originally an initialism for Electric and Musical Industries and often known as EMI Records and EMI Music) was a British multinational conglomerate founded on March 1931 and was based in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and was one of the big four record companies (now the big three). Its EMI Records Ltd. group of record labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records and Capitol Records. EMI also had a major publishing arm, EMI Music Publishing—also based in London with offices globally.
The company was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, but faced financial troubles and USD $4 billion in debt, leading to its acquisition by Citigroup in February 2011. Citigroup’s ownership was temporary, as it announced in November 2011 that it would sell its music arm to Vivendi’s Universal Music Group for $1.9 billion, and EMI’s publishing business to a Sony/ATV consortium for around $2.2 billion. Other members of the Sony consortium include the Estate of Michael Jackson, The Blackstone Group, and Abu Dhabi–owned investment fund Mubadala Development Company.