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WMG Suitors Down to Three?

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE? Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies, Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries and billionaire siblings Tom and Alec Gores are the three finalists to acquire Warner Music Group, according to a report in Bloomberg this morning. The remaining suitors each offered $3 billion or more for WMG’s recorded music and publishing assets, topping the bid by KKR/Bertelsmann’s BMG Rights Management, which would reportedly include selling off recorded music and keeping Warner/Chappell publishing. Last week, the WMG board indicated it would pursue the sale of the entire company. Eight of the company’s 13 directors are executives of Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital, two Boston- based private-equity firms that together hold 51% of the company’s shares, while Chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. controls about 7%. (4/18a)

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