Report: Digital Music Industries Bids For Warner Music
April 29, 2011 at 3:33 AM (PT)
With "final" bids on WMG due in early APRIL, YUCAIPA COMPANIES emerged two weeks ago as the front-runner for WARNER MUSIC GROUP (NET NEWS 4/18). The offer, at $3 billion, was $200 million more than a bid submitted by BMG. Reports have WMG narrowing the list of bidders to three, according to two persons with knowledge of the deliberations. RON BURKLE'S YUCAIPA COMPANIES, LEN BLAVATNIK’S ACCESS INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS and billionaire brothers TOM and ALEC GORES were competing for the deal, said one of the persons, asking for anonymity as the talks were private. More bidders might be let in later, the person said.
Another bidder has emerged, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES, which writes "D.M.I., or DIGITAL MUSIC INDUSTRIES, a consortium led by BERNHARD FRITSCH, a GERMAN-born technology entrepreneur, has made an offer for the company, according to a person involved in the private negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity. D.M.I. is made up of managers from GMI, Mr. FRITSCH's merchant bank, along with other private equity and banking investors. The size of D.M.I.’s bid was not known."
The economy, howerever, might have the final say in any sale. THE TIMES report also reports concernes by BANK OF AMERICA, "to consider withdrawing its financing from several companies' bids, according to two people involved in the talks who asked not to be identified because the bidding process was not over."
Those same sources also mentioned YUCAIPA COMPANIES, one of the three bidders assumed to be in the final running for WMG, may pull out of the auction for the same reason.