Vivendi's Universal drops out of EMI auction: source
LONDON (Reuters) - Vivendi's Universal Music Group, the largest music company in the world, has dropped out of the auction for EMI, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.
Bids for the British music company have been submitted to Citigroup, which has been looking for between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.
The company could now be split into two businesses between recorded music and song publishing as part of the sale.
Universal had been primarily interested in the recorded music division at EMI, which has artists such as Coldplay and Katy Perry, leaving Warner Music Group as the likely strongest contender for that part of the business.
"Universal has dropped out of the bidding for EMI," the person familiar with the matter said.
BMG Music, a joint venture between Bertelsmann and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony Corp and the estate of Michael Jackson, are interested in the publishing unit, sources have told Reuters.
Citigroup seized control of EMI in February after its previous private equity owner, Terra Firma, defaulted on a loan.
Vivendi declined to comment and a spokesman for EMI was not immediately available.
(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by David Hulmes)
NEW YORK - Stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday as a provisional budget deal reached in Washington compounded expectations the Federal Reserve will start scaling back its stimulus program soon.
WASHINGTON - U.S. small business sentiment bounced back from a seven-month low in November, with owners setting their sights on creating more jobs and expanding operations.
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.