U.S. News

Warner Music Confirms It May Make Higher Offer for EMI


Warner Music Groupsaid on Monday it was still considering making an offer for Britain's EMI which has agreed to a 2.4 billion pounds ($4.7 billion) cash takeover from private equity group Terra Firma.

"Such an offer would be pre-conditional on appropriate anti-trust clearances being obtained, or the pre-conditions waived, but not subject to any other pre-condition," Warner Music said in a statement.

Earlier, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that Warner Music was more likely than not to make an improved offer by early next week.

On May 21, EMI agreed to a 265 pence per share takeover from Terra Firma but the industry has been waiting to see whether long-term suitor Warner would return with an improved offer.

EMI's share price, down 0.7 percent to 271 pence on Monday, suggests investors do not think the game is over.

EMI and Warner Music have been engaged in a seven-year bid battle. Analysts have said Warner would have to offer nearer to 300 pence as any deal between the two groups would likely be reviewed by European regulators and therefore incur risk.

EMI is the world's third largest music company with artists such as Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams while Warner is the fourth largest group with artists including Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Alternatively, Warner could allow Terra Firma to buy EMI and then make an offer to the private equity group for EMI's recording unit at a later date. The Terra Firma-EMI proposal includes a 24 million pound break clause.

Terra Firma has sent its offer document to EMI and has said acceptances should be received by June 27.