Report: EU Close To Approving UMG Buy Of BMG Publishing
April 17, 2007 at 11:28 AM (PT)
VIVENDI SA's UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP is close to winning EUROPEAN UNION approval to buy BERTELSMANN AG's BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING after antitrust officials backed the deal, three people with knowledge of the recommendation said to BLOOMBERG NEWS.
The proposal by the team reviewing the acquisition follows offers by UNIVERSAL to sell publishing rights, said the people, who declined to be identified before the decision is made public. The recommendation will be presented in the next few weeks to the EUROPEAN COMMISSION in BRUSSELS, which will make the final decision. U.S. authorities approved the deal on NOVEMBER 14.
The 1.63 billion-euro ($2.2 billion) purchase is VIVENDI's biggest in more than two years and would allow UNIVERSAL to leapfrog EMI GROUP to become the world's largest music publisher.
Commission spokesman JONATHAN TODD and THOMAS NONNASTG, a spokesman for GERMANY-based BERTELSMANN, declined to comment.
"We're continuing to work closely with the commission and we remain confident of clearance," ADAM WHITE, a spokesman for UNIVERSAL, said in a telephone interview.