The EMI Group buy Mute Records for £23 million...

The embattled EMI group has bought major indie MUTE, home of Modjo and NICK CAVE, for £23 million, it has been announced.

The deal will also see EMI pay out a further £19 million over four years for operational costs of the 23-year-old label. Mute founder and current executive chairman Daniel Miller will continue to oversee operations worldwide.

The move comes barely two months after EMI announced it was slashing its workforce by a fifth, cutting almost 1,800 jobs. In a major restructuring of its music division, the label also trimmed its roster by a quarter getting rid of around 400 artists.

“It’s a great sign of confidence that Daniel Miller has decided to associate his future with EMI,” Alain Levy, EMI’s new head of recorded music, said. “Daniel is one of the most respected finders and nurturers of talent in the industry and we’re incredibly proud to be strengthening the relationship.”

Mute, which had a licensing deal with EMI’s Virgin Records for 15 years, also owns the publishing rights to a number of well known artists from the 80s, including Erasure, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Sonic Youth. Recent sellers for the label include Modjo‘s ‘Play’, which shifted eight million worldwide, and Depeche Mode’s ‘Exciter’, which has sold two million.