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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 14:38 GMT
Warner Music seeks to raise $750m
Madonna is one of Warner Music's many artists
Warner Music is to raise up to $750m (390m) by selling some shares in the company, a year after private investors bought the firm from Time Warner.

The company, whose artists include Madonna, did not say how many shares it would make available or at what price.

Warner posted a $36m profit for the first quarter of its current fiscal year, compared to a loss of 1.1bn for the same period a year earlier.

It has faced falling sales amid illegal downloads and tough competition.

Although Warner - the world's fourth-largest record company - has returned to profitability, revenue during the first quarter declined by 7.6% on a year earlier.

Cost-cutting measures

Warner Music was bought from Time Warner in March 2004 by a group of private equity investors led by the music group's chairman and chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Sony BMG - 25.1%
Universal - 23.5%
EMI - 13.4%
Warner - 12.7%
Independents - 25.3%
Source: IFPI figures for 2003

The return to profitability has been greatly helped by Mr Bronfman's ongoing $250m cost-cutting programme.

Warner said it plans to use proceeds from the share offer to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

The company also wants to increase sales of legal music downloads to users of such digital music players as Apple's iPod, and also to suitably equipped mobile phones.

Recorded music accounts for 83% of Warner Music's revenue, and music publishing for 17%.

Some of its other artists include The Darkness, Green Day, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Its music publishing arm is the second-largest in the world, with a library that includes "Happy Birthday to You" and the "Star Wars Theme."

Warner said it will float on either the New York Stock Exchange or the more technology-heavy Nasdaq exchange.

Has Time Warner turned the corner?
03 Feb 05 |  Business
Madonna sells label after battle
15 Jun 04 |  Entertainment
Warner Music cuts workforce 20%
02 Mar 04 |  Business
Media mogul snaps up Warner Music
24 Nov 03 |  Business

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