fSony / ATV says it has an offer to buy
WARNER MUSIC Submitted By Music Director .
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, owned by Sony Corp.
(SNE) and Michael Jackson’s estate, submitted a bid
for Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) ahead of yesterday’s
deadline, two people with knowledge of the auction said.
Sony/ATV made a joint bid with billionaire Ronald
Perelman and Guggenheim Partners LLC, said the people,
who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Warner Music yesterday called a board meeting with the
aim of picking a buyer in 48 hours, people said then.
The entry of Sony/ATV increases the number of known
bidders to three after billionaire investor Ron Burkle
decided to walk away last week. Len Blavatnik, a former
Warner Music director, and brothers Tom and Alec Gores
also submitted bids ahead of the deadline, people
familiar with the offers said yesterday.
Sony/ATV’s bid is in the $3 billion range offered
by Blavatnik and the Gores brothers, one person said.
The company, headed by Martin Bandier, is interested
Warner Music’s publishing business, while its
partners are focused on recorded music, one of
the people said.
Will Tanous, a spokesman for New York-based
Warner Music, and Liz Young, a spokeswoman for
Sony Music in New York, had no comment.
Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for Perelman’s
MacAndrews & Forbes in New York, didn’t respond to
requests for comment. Jeffrey Kelley, a spokesman
for Guggenheim in Chicago, declined to comment.
Warner Music, which began seeking offers in January,
fell 3 cents to $7.37 at 4:15 p.m. in New York
Stock Exchange composite trading.
The stock has climbed 31 percent this year.
The record company, home to artists including Cee Lo
Green and the Black Keys, has long-term debt of $1.94 billion,
according to company filings.
Eight of Warner Music’s 13 directors are executives
of Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital LLC,
two Boston-based private-equity firms that together
hold 51 percent of the company’s shares, according
to data compiled by Bloomberg. Providence Equity
Partners owns 8.3 percent and Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer Edgar Bronfman Jr. owns about