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More finance firms linked to Fuller’s Parlophone bid

By | Published on Monday 19 November 2012


The Simon Fuller led bid to buy the Parlophone Music Group continues to garner the most interest, following the news last week that nine parties had submitted initial offers for the EMI UK division, being sold by Universal Music as one of the conditions for European Commission approval of its takeover of the wider EMI record company.

Fuller is bidding for various of the EMI units that are for sale via his joint venture with Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. A number of financiers are also linked to their bid. Last week Jacob Rothschild’s RIT Investments was said to be considering backing the two industry veterans, while Sky News has now added to the list of potential partners Searchlight Capital, CJ E&M and Claridge Inc.

The latter is headed up by Stephen Bronfman, cousin of Edgar Bronfman Jr, who basically created what is now the Universal Music Group before leading a consortium to buy Warner Music in 2004, which he ran until its sale to Access Industries last year.

Edgar has basically stepped away from active involvement in the running of Warner since the Access takeover, though he still has a seat on the firm’s board and was its most public spokesman when speaking out against Universal’s EMI acquisition earlier this year. Therefore, with Warner one of the other nine parties to have already submitted a bid for Parlophone, Sky News notes that this could become a Bronfman v Bronfman bidding war.

More initial bids for some or all of the EMI units for sale are expected to be made in the next ten days, including one from long mooted suitor BMG, before more information is shared with bidders enabling them to submit binding offers, probably early in the new year.

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