Who's Interested In Buying Warner Music Group?
February 23, 2011 at 4:12 AM (PT)
More names are surfacing as being interested in bidding for parts or all of WARNER MUSIC GROUP.
YAHOO reports, "the bidders, who have had a preliminary review of WARNER MUSIC's books, include private equity firms, investor groups and strategic bidders like music companies. Names that have moved ahead in the process include private equity firm KKR through its BMG MUSIC RIGHTS joint venture with BERTELSMANN. Others include billionaire LEN BLAVATNIK, who already owns around 2% of WARNER MUSIC. VIVENDI's UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and SONY CORP's label group SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and its song publishing joint venture SONY/ATV PUBLISHING are also said to have moved ahead in pursuing their interest."
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.
WMG is seeking flexibility to pay down debt, and perhaps bid for EMI when CITIGROUP makes that company available. "They're trying to move closer to pole position to get more financial flexibility to be able to compete with some of the private equity guys who are interested in EMI's assets," said STANDARD & POOR'S TUNA AMOBI about WMG's moves.