News Corp in talks with Vevo on Myspace: source

NEW YORK Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:29pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp has held talks to give control of Myspace to the music label-owned video site Vevo.com, but the likelihood of a deal being reached was slim, a person with knowledge of the talks said.

News Corp in February kicked off the process to explore the sale or spin-off of its troubled social entertainment site, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters at the time.

The media conglomerate has tapped boutique investment bank Allen & Co to aid with the process, and as of February had already received early interest from around 20 parties.

In its talks with Vevo.com, News Corp is discussing exchanging Myspace for a stake in a new venture, the person said.

Representatives for News Corp had initially contacted Vevo to see if they would be interested in purchasing all of Myspace a few weeks ago but were rebuffed.

Since then, a joint venture has been proposed which could see News Corp spin off its stake into some sort of joint venture.

But the person close to the talks said the chances of a new joint venture with News Corp was "very slim."

Arguably one of the more valuable assets of Myspace is Myspace Music, a joint venture between Myspace and the four major music label owners including Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music.

Vevo.com, launched in December 2009, is also a joint venture, owned by Universal Music, Sony Music and Abu Dhabi Media Co.

News Corp spokeswoman Julie Henderson declined to comment and representatives for Vevo.com did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Maria Aspan; Editing by Richard Chang)

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