Exclusive: Access, Sony, Universal weigh EMI bids

Published July 21, 2011

| Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, Sony Music Entertainment and Vivendi SA's <VIV.PA> Universal Music Group are among the music companies and private equity firms interested in buying EMI Group Ltd <LNDONE.UL>, people familiar with the situation said.

Potential bidders for parts or all of the 114-year-old British music company also include Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes, Tom Gores' Platinum Equity and BMG Music Rights -- a joint venture between Bertelsmann and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts <KKR.N> -- five people said on Thursday.

EMI, which represents such artists as Katy Perry, the Beastie Boys, The Beatles and Keith Urban, is seen as one of the last remaining attractive assets in the music industry after its closest rival Warner Music was bought by Access Industries in May for $3.3 billion.

Analysts estimate that EMI could be sold for $2.5 billion to $4 billion.

U.S. bank Citigroup <C.N> took control of EMI in February this year after British financier Guy Hands' Terra Firma defaulted on a loan and lost a battle to keep hold of the debt-ridden music company.

(Reporting by Nadia Damouni and Soyoung Kim. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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