Report: Warner Music Group Receiving Buyout Offers
February 21, 2011 at 4:27 AM (PT)
WARNER MUSIC GROUP has requested "preliminary bids this week for its music publishing company or for the entire group, with interest expected to come from private-equity groups and from one existing shareholder, LEN BLAVATNIK," reports THE FINANCIAL TIMES. BLAVATNIK owns ACCESS INDUSTRIES, a real estate, resources and media group. "Two people familiar with the auction process said BLAVATNIK was leaning towards submitting a first round offer in the next few days," added the report.
BLAVATNIK's company is said to be largely interested in acquiring WARNER-CHAPPELL PUBLISHING.
Other private equity groups are also said to have expressed interest in both WMG and WARNER-CHAPPELL, including BMG PUBLISHING owners, KOHLBERG KRAVIS ROBERTS and BERTELSMANN.
Insiders say both UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and SONY continue to follow this process and could get involved in the bidding.
WMG hired the investment bank GOLDMAN SACHS in JANUARY (NET NEWS 1/21) to seek out potential buyers for the company, a process expected to play out while WARNER continues to explore buying EMI.