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"Industry observer" speculates on what's coming

WHAT’S NEXT? SOME SCENARIOS: A clued-in industry observer has shared his thoughts on the latest revelations emanating from the Big Four: According to this guy, there are lots of smoke and mirrors and weird moves behind the jockeying going on right now. Look at the movement of Lyor, Edgar and new Warner/Chappell chief Cameron Strang's shares this week. Hiring Goldman to sell WMG looks more like a head fake. The Sony/ATV deal to buy WCM was rumored to be done, but something then fell apart. There is no way in the world WMG would dump WCM unless they had another cash-flowing annuity lined up and the deal sealed, according to our mystery observer. So the possible scenarios are: (1) WMG and Citi strike a deal for EMI. WMG would have to dump WCM to clear EU hurdles, thereby pumping up the bid price for the pubbery between Sony and BMG. (2) KKR and BMG Rights Management take all of WMG (3) KKR and BMGRM take WCM, and Sony/ATV takes EMI Music Publishing. WMG could be doing the whole Goldman thing as a scare tactic to pump up the price on WC. As for motives, KKR could be putting out false signals about its interest in buying WMG to get EMI at a cheaper premium. WMG could be pulling a giant head fake to put itself on the market to drive down the price of EMI for a potential buy. WMG would attract a much better offer than EMI, so they can neutralize KKR and BMG RM. Initial reaction: oy gevalt. (1/21a)

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