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Russian to an Acquistion?

RUSSIAN ROULETTE: Close observers aren't surprised by Len Blavatnik's 11-hour ankling from the table in his bid to buy the recorded music portion of EMI Group. The Access Industries mogul pulled the same trick in his acquisition of Warner Music Group. It's all part of his very public negotiating strategy, with insiders insisting Citigroup has yet to go back to previously interested parties like Universal Music Group or Sony Music to say the company is back on the market. In fact, Blavatnik's offer is the highest they've received for EMI, and it is in the beleaguered bank's interest to make the deal happen. Blavatnik is also the only one who can benefit from the economies of scale in a merged company. Without that, said one individual close to the discussions, Blavatnik's WMG "becomes the new EMI, scrambling for marketshare." (11/1a)

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