Reuters: PE Crowds Warner Music Auction

NEW YORK, April 10 (Reuters) – Warner Music Group’s board is expected to review second-round bids for the company at a meeting in the coming week, a source familiar with the matter said.

Up to 10 investors have put in bids ahead of the meeting, offering a range of valuations from $2.8 billion to slightly above $3 billion on an enterprise-value basis, the source said.

Among the potential buyers for all or part of Warner are music companies Live Nation and BMG Rights Management, a joint venture between Bertelsmann and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co., the source said.

Other bidders include Platinum Equity, billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., billionaire Len Blavatnik, investor Ron Perelman and Sony Corp., which is specifically interested in the song publishing unit.

A Warner spokesman declined to comment.

Warner Music effectively put itself up for sale in January when it hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and AGM Partners to explore strategic options after it was approached about selling its assets.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Nadia Damouni; Editing by Dale Hudson)