Warner and KKR Reportedly Setting Sights on EMI Takeover

Warner and KKR Reportedly Setting Sights on EMI Takeover
Even those struggling to avoid music news can't have missed hearing about how major label EMI has faced some serious struggles over the past half-year. The latest in a long line of record companies developing fiduciary woes, the 80-year-old organization has had a hard winter, with the label being forced to seek financial assistance and toy with selling asset Abbey Road studios to stay afloat. Now, it seems EMI may follow in the footsteps of fallen majors such as Polygram, BMG and MCA: join other resources or fold entirely.

As Times Online reports, speculation is that EMI will be put on the chopping block as of this summer. Following that lead, private equity firm KKR is reportedly in talks with Warner Music to launch a break-up bid for the ailing company.

KKR aspires to avoid acquiring the whole company, instead opting for EMI's publishing branch, which owns lucrative rights to songs such as "Over the Rainbow" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," while Warner has sights set on some of EMI's more popular recording artists including Robbie Williams and Coldplay.

Before an official bid may be placed, however, EMI still has a bit of time. The label officially has three weeks to present a rescue plan to current investors Citigroup asking for another $184 million. If that fails, the label will be taken over as of June and auctioning will predictably commence.

If EMI is unable to pull out of its tailspin and Warner's bid is successful, the number of major labels still in operation will effectively be cut down from four to three: Warner, Universal and Sony/BMG.

Remember when EMI pissed off the Sex Pistols?