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Unit of Warner Offers $25 Million for Firm That Owns 'Happy Birthday'

December 20, 1988|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Warner Communications Inc. will pay $25 million to buy the company that owns the song "Happy Birthday to You," according to a published report.

Birchtree Ltd., which owns the birthday song, soon will be acquired by Warner Chappell, the world's largest music publisher and a Warner division, the New York Times reported in Monday's editions, quoting unnamed executives it said were involved in the deal.

"Happy Birthday" generates about $1 million a year in royalty fees, a relatively modest amount that reflects how infrequently the song has been recorded in recent years, the newspaper said.

The song and the company were put up for sale in October, partly because the firm said it did not have the resources that a larger company would to monitor and protect copyrights, according to the Times.

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