EMI Group to sell historic Capitol Records tower
By Russ Britt, MarketWatch
Last Update: 1:55 PM ET Sep 28, 2006
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- A Hollywood landmark is about to change hands as EMI Group said Thursday it will sell the historic Capitol Records tower but plans to lease back the space as part of a strategy to sell off non-core assets.
Argent Ventures LLC in New York is buying the cylindrical-shaped tower from London-based EMI (UK:EMI: news, chart, profile) for $50 million. Argent is buying some properties adjacent to the tower, which is near the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
Capitol will keep the headquarters for its label in the 13-story building, along with its studios. EMI said in a release that it will retain the trademark and rights to the Capitol Tower's imagery.
The building, designed to look like a stack of records with a stylus needle atop it, was constructed in 1956.
Such artists as Johnny Mercer, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys recorded there. The Beatles also were on the Capitol label, and John Lennon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is just outside the building.
EMI has divested several real estate assets. Earlier this year, it sold two properties in Japan and entered into lease-back arrangements.
The company's shares were down marginally on the London Stock Exchange.
Russ Britt is the Los Angeles bureau chief for MarketWatch.