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EMI Courts Warner if BMG Talks Fail
August 27, 2003

According to a report in the New York Post, EMI -- the smallest of the major record labels -- will make a run at Warner Music's record business should the exclusive discussions between Warner and BMG fail to conclude in a deal.

In addition, the paper reports, should Warner and BMG reach an accord, EMI would be interested in obtaining one or several labels should the new combined entity decide to spin them off.

Warner and BMG are currently in the midst of an exclusive negotiating agreement, which is set to expire in a few days. Reportedly, the companies are at an impasse over the value of the deal. If the exclusive agreement isn't extended, EMI could emerge as a suitor. Analysts peg the value of Warner's recorded music division -- which doesn't include either the Warner Chappell publishing arm or the recently shed CD/DVD manufacturing unit -- at more than $1 billion.

Should the BMG-Warner deal go through, the combined entity would have about 23 percent share of the world's recorded music business, trailing only Universal's 29 percent global share.

While the Big labels continue to ban and grow in strenght as well as network reach, there is a definite threat of such a growing Monopoly to become a stunt on the Independent Music Business. Cracks to slip in become even slimmer. Choke holds become event tighter. Relationships go even further.

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