EMI and Warners to merge?
BRITAIN'S EMI is preparing to make a takeover bid for US rival Warner Music in a deal that would create the second-biggest music group in the world.
City sources indicate that EMI, under executive chairman Eric Nicoli, is likely to make an approach to Warner within weeks.
Regulatory issues, which have previously thwarted the companies' attempts to merge, are now considered less onerous.
The potential savings from the deal would be considerable, even though both companies have recently cut costs extensively.
The enlarged group would create a music giant about the same size as SonyBMG, which is itself believed to be preparing to break up. France's Universal is the world's biggest music group.
Warner, whose artists include Madonna and James Blunt, was formerly part of media conglomerate Time Warner. It is now an independent company quoted on the New York Stock Exchange under chairman and chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr, who bought it two years ago.
An approach from EMI to acquire Warner would make it more likely that Nicoli, rather than Bronfman, would be the head of the merged group. Both EMI and Warner refused to comment.
A year ago, Warner floated on the stock market and is now worth about More articles