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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
EMI 'opens its books to suitors'
Lily Allen
Artists like Lily Allen are key to EMI
UK music group EMI has opened its books to a number of suitors, a report says.

EMI, which is home to acts such as Robbie Williams and Lily Allen, said earlier this month that it was being eyed but that talks were "preliminary".

A number of firms have been linked to EMI, and Reuters said its rival Warner Music was one of those interested, as well as private equity groups.

EMI, which has issued two profit warnings this year, rejected a 2.1bn Warner bid in March as being too low.

EMI was also concerned that the Warner bid would create operational and regulatory risks.

According to Reuters, "people familiar with the situation" say that One Equity, Cereberus and Fortress are among the other groups which have been scrutinising EMI's financial data.

Independent record labels have been vocal critics of a consolidation in the music industry.

Royalty attraction

EMI has suffered in recent years by the availability of digital downloads and internet piracy.

Analysts have said that private investors are principally attracted to future royalties from EMI's back catalogue, which includes prized albums by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, David Bowie and Coldplay.

EMI reports its preliminary results on 23 May and analysts expect little respite in the tough trading conditions currently being experienced by the group.

EMI rejects 2.1bn takeover bid
03 Mar 07 |  Business
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13 Jul 06 |  Business
Warner planning cash bid for EMI
21 Feb 07 |  Business
EMI receives Warner bid approach
20 Feb 07 |  Business
EMI shares fall on profit warning
14 Feb 07 |  Business
Weak album sales hit Warner Music
08 Feb 07 |  Business

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