London Times: WMG, KKR Eyeing EMI Takeover
March 15, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
WARNER MUSIC GROUP and private equity firm KKR are reportedly negotiating to launch a break-up bid for EMI, says REUTERS, citing a SUNDAY TIMES OF LONDON report. The TIMES writes that KKR is focused on acquiring EMI PUBLISHING, which it says bankers value at around $1.82 Billion.
WMG is eyeing EMI's recorded music division, which the report says is difficult to value.
EMI has had ongoing financial problems. Its owner, private equity group TERRA FIRMA CAPITAL PARTNERS, has reportedly been ready to turn over the company to its lender CITIGROUP if it does not find the $179 million by JUNE 14th to cure a covenant breach said the paper.
Just last week, EMI CEO ELIO LEONI-SCETI exited after less than two years (NET NEWS 3/10). CHARLES ALLEN, the former CEO of U.K. broadcaster ITV PLC, who is EMI MUSIC's Non-Executive Chairman, was named Exec. Chairman.
Despite the financial woes, EMI had the biggest-selling album of 2008, COLDPLAY's "Viva La Vida," and reissued the BEATLES digitally remastered back catalogue last year. Acts including LILY ALLEN and KATY PERRY are selling well.