Defiant EMI rejects Warner approaches

24-08-2006

British music label EMI has rejected a £2.5 billion takeover offer by its US rival, Warner Music.

A statement released today by EMI said that it received a 315 pence per share offer on June 14th from Warner which it rejected.

It then counterattacked with its own proposal to Warner Music, raising an offer which had been made before the June 14th bid to 31 cents per share in cash, which was subsequently turned down.

Now Warner have upped the bidding once again with a new offer, worth 320 pence per share.

"The board of EMI has unanimously rejected the revised alternative proposal from Warner Music at 320 pence per share, and considers it to be wholly unacceptable, having regard to EMI's prospects, the potential synergy benefits of a combination of the two companies and the range of strategic options available to EMI," a statement released this morning said.

The bidding battle between the two music industry giants is likely to continue until one or other of the groups gives in. Their determination reflects the industry's promising future, with digital sales looking likely to offset the downturn in physical musical formats like CDs in the future.

EMI, whose artists include the Beatles, Coldplay and Robbie Williams, saw its share price rise by 7.75 per cent today to 305 pence per share.

Both EMI and Warner are members of the 'Big Four', a group of four companies controlling an oliogopoly over the global music industry.

They control 9.6 per cent and 15 per cent of the international market respectively but are overshadowed by the biggest fishes of all – Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which control 25 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.


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