Billionaires battle for EMI Music

DA DO RON RON: After failing to mention Ron Perelman in her last story about Citi’s EMI auction (see 10/21 item), N.Y. Post media reporter Claire Atkinson writes this morning that Perelman and Len Blavatnik are going head to head over recorded music. In the piece, which bears the racy title “Billionaires feud over EMI label,” a source tells Atkinson that “It’s Blavatnik’s to lose,” though in order to do so, he’ll “have to fend off a strong counterplay from Perelman, the 68-year-old New York City billionaire who is said to be desperate to own the recorded music business. Grabbing hold of EMI’s recorded music business would place Perelman among the entertainment firmament. A win by the chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes Worldwide, Perelman’s holding company, would mean a second jump ball for the label, this time over who would snag distribution rights.” Atkinson doesn’t mention UMG, which also reportedly bid on records. On the publishing side, she reiterates that BMG Rights Management is expected to come out on top, as Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann’s new CEO-in-waiting, makes the rounds in the States. BMG is competing against Sony/ATV, in partnership with Indian sovereign fund Mubadala and the Raine Group. A deal is expected by all sides by the end of the week. (10/26a)