Sony Music to team up with BMG to bid for Universal Music Group's EMI assets: Report

Sony Music is teaming up with BMG to place a joint bid for Parlophone and other recorded music assets of EMI being sold by the Universal Music Group, the Financial Times yesterday reported, citing people close to the transaction.

Universal Music is selling the assets as part of the deal to address antitrust concerns and secure European regulators approval over its last year $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI's recorded music business. (See: Universal Music, Sony to buy EMI from Citigroup for $4.1 billion)

Sony and BMG, a music rights management group owned by global media conglomerate Bertelsmann and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, will make a joint bid for Parlophone and other assets, he paper said. The two plan to split the assets and will not form another joint venture, it added.

Sony had in 2004 merged its recorded music business with the original BMG record company to create SonyBMG and acquired BMG owner Bertelsmann out of the venture four years later.

The assets being sold include Parlophone, Chrysalis, Universal businesses such as Sanctuary, Co-op Music and EMI's vast classical catalog and other labels and subsidiaries across Europe.

EMI's recorded music division is home to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Coldplay and one of the world's most respected classical music catalogues.

According to several media reports, Universal is seeking at least $650 million for the assets.

The auction, still in its early stages, has attracted other bidders, including Warner Music Group, investment company MacAndrews & Forbes, and the team of Simon Fuller, the founder of ''American Idol,'' and Chris Blackwell and RIT Capital Partners, who founded Island Records.