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Warner may offer extra 100 mln pounds for EMI

May 21, 2007

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Warner Music Group will offer takeover target EMI Group up to 100 million pounds to try to stop it accepting a private equity deal, the Sunday Times newspaper said.

EMI, home to artists including Coldplay and Norah Jones, was not immediately available for comment.

Last week people familiar with the situation said that EMI had opened the door for suitors including Warner Music to inspect the company’s financial data. Warner is widely considered by analysts to be the natural home for EMI.

However, a private equity deal untroubled by regulatory hurdles could be completed much more quickly than a tie-up with Warner Music.

Last summer talks between EMI and Warner Music ended when both became worried about regulatory impediments to a deal.

More recently EMI rejected a 2.1 billion-pound bid proposal from Warner in March. Since then, New York-based Warner Music agreed certain concessions to win support for a deal with EMI from independent record labels, who have been the most vocal critics of consolidation in the industry.

The Sunday Times said the move by Warner Music to offer an extra 100 million pounds as a sweetener reflected Chairman Edgar Bronfman’s confidence that a merger with EMI will now be approved by competition regulators.

in: Reuters

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