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11/23/2003

EMI competing for Warner Music

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A second suitor has emerged with a bid to buy Warner Music Group from Time Warner Inc., the first bidder says.
“Time Warner has tonight informed us that they are now considering a possible proposal from another party as an alternative to our own firm offer,” EMI Chairman Eric Nicoli said in a statement Thursday.
The statement didn’t identify the second bidder for Warner Music Group, which is home to artists like Madonna, R.E.M. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Time Warner had no comment.
But two entertainment industry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said Time Warner is considering a $2.5 billion offer from former Universal Music head Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Hollywood billionaire Haim Saban.
Until the other offer emerged, it had appeared that EMI, the world’s third-largest music company, was the front-runner to buy Warner Music.
EMI — the British company behind acts like Radiohead, Kylie Minogue and Norah Jones — has reportedly offered Time Warner about $1 billion in cash plus a stake of about 25 percent in a merged company for the recorded music division of Warner Music Group.