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EMI Sale Hits Snags

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: Universal Music Group is back in the running for EMI Group, having been asked to return to the negotiating table after Access IndustriesLen Blavatnik publicly dropped out of the bidding last week. While WMG’s Russian billionaire had reportedly bid $1.5b for the recorded music division, he supposedly balked at being responsible for getting the deal past regulatory, which could be problematic now that the Euro indie organization IMPALA has expressed its opposition to the merger. UMG’s bid is apparently close to $1.2 billion, a far cry from the $1.8 Citigroup was reportedly seeking from the start. The uncertainty of the recorded music sale is holding up the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by KKR’s BMG Rights Management, a deal which is all but done. Some sources close to the discussions insist that Citigroup may even pull the pubco off the block if it can’t find a buyer for the recorded music division. Action to come. (11/8p)

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