Warner Music Group Drops Out of Bidding for EMI

Companies could not agree on valuation of music catalog

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EMI Music headquarters in London, U.K.
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Access Industries, the owners of Warner Music Group, has pulled out of the auction for EMI's music operation. According to Billboard's sources, the two sides could not agree on a valuation, though Access' bid was speculated to be in the $1.5-$1.6 billion range.

Photos: Random Notes

It appears that Citigroup, EMI's current owners, were holding out for a higher offer, but may have made the wrong move. Universal Music Group withdrew from the auction last week, and MacAndrews & Forbes put in an offer lower than Access' bid.

EMI was purchased by Citigroup in February. The financial service conglomerate subsequently wrote down the company's debt by $3.5 billion before putting the label on the market in June. Warner and Universal Music Group have pursued acquiring their recorded music division, while Sony and BMG Rights Management have bid on EMI's publishing arm.