Warner Music Group Puts Itself On The Block
Hires Goldman Sachs, While Still Pursuing EMI
January 21, 2011 at 3:43 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports WARNER MUSIC GROUP "has hired the investment bank GOLDMAN SACHS to seek out potential buyers for the company, a process that will play out while WARNER continues to explore buying the beleaguered British music giant EMI. The decision to hire GOLDMAN SACHS came after several suitors, including the buyout firm KOHLBERG KRAVIS ROBERTS, approached WARNER MUSIC's management in recent months about buying the company, according to an executive briefed on the matter who spoke only anonymously."
The report claims WMG decided to enter into a formal sale process, rather than simply accept the offer from KOHLBERG KRAVIS ROBERTS.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL adds, "The transactions being explored by GOLDMAN might not necessarily result in a sale of the entire WARNER MUSIC GROUP." Insiders say WMG could simply spin off a division, such as WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC.
At the same time, WMG has retained a separate set of GOLDMAN SACHS bankers to focus on a potential acquisition of EMI.
Earlier this month, TERRA FIRMA CEO GUY HANDS told investors that the company could be handed over to CITIGROUP by MARCH (NET NEWS 1/10). THE TIMES report says GOLDMAN has reached out to CITIGROUP regarding EMI.