Clock Ticking On Rival EMI Bidders
July 17, 2007 at 5:44 AM (PT)
Two potential rivals to an agreed £2.4bn offer for EMI GROUP were given a "put up or shut up" deadline by takeover authorities, reports U.K.'s THE HERALD. WARNER MUSIC and former EMI CEO JIM FIFIELD must say by noon TODAY whether they intend to make an offer for the business, the Takeover Panel said.
EMI has agreed an offer from private equity firm TERRA FIRMA, but the deal has yet to receive approval from shareholders waiting for a higher bidder to emerge. The Takeover Panel said that no extension would be given to the THURSDAY deadline. EMI, which has been hit by falling music sales due to the rise of digital downloading from the Internet, has rebuffed two previous approaches from WARNER.
FIFIELD was also looking at a bid with private equity firm CORVUS CAPITAL earlier this year. While CORVUS pulled out, FIFIELD--who left EMI in 1998--said in MAY that he would still consider a potential offer for the firm. TERRA FIRMA, run by financier GUY HANDS, has received clearance from the EUROPEAN COMMISSION for the deal. Shareholders also have until THURSDAY to approve the offer after the deadline was extended last week.