EMI and Warner Music should simply bite the bullet and merge

It is the story that’s been running for a decade and once again the “will they, won’t they” talks between EMI and Warner Music have failed to reach a deal.

The saga must rank as one of the longest-running, most inconclusive, takeovers in corporate history.

It has emerged that EMI-owner Terra Firma met with Edgar Bronfman, Warner’s chief executive, several times last year, but talks on a deal ran aground yet again over price and the two have not met since.

“There are £1.6bn in value terms of synergies out of any such merger but neither side could agree who should get the benefit of those synergies so that deal fell apart,” said one source of what is at least the fifth time the pair have looked likely to link up only to fail to do so.

While EMI has been under different ownerships in the past decade, the curse of running a music company – where passion often gets in the way of sense – has surely played a role in some of the failed marriage attempts.

The Terra Firma chief, Guy Hands, may be a shrewd businessman, but even the private equity player has been unable to dodge some of problems associated with owning a record label. As a music lover he is enjoying the experience. Watching him dancing and singing at a recent Lily Allen gig alongside colleagues and family provided some insight.

Mr Hands’ EMI may have taken writedowns and amassed a large debt pile but…

continue from source by Amanda Andrews


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