Russian Pursues Warner/Chappell

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING: Russian-American businessman Len Blavatnik is reportedly set to submit a bid for WMG’s publishing arm Warner/Chappell as soon as this week, according to a report in Music Week. After that, he will reportedly bid on Carmelo Anthony. Blvatnik is already a shareholder in WMG and sat on its board from 2004-’08. More than 20 parties have reportedly shown interest in all or parts of WMG so far, including Zomba founder Clive Calder, UMG, Sony, indie publisher Imagem and private equity firms KKR, Apollo and Providence Equity. Citigroup has also made it clear it wants to sell EMI since taking the company over three weeks ago from Terra Firma. Most people expect that the music group will be broken up rather than sold as a whole despite EMI chief Roger Faxon’s insistence it would make no business sense to do so, given the company’s strategy of “comprehensive rights management.” (2/21a)

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