Sony Music Eyeing EMI

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Sony Music (6758.T) said it is considering a bid for ailing British rival EMI [LNDONE.UL] on Sunday, while its main rivals deny any interest or decline to comment on their intentions .

“We are in a position that allows us to seize every opportunity in the market – including EMI,” the head of Sony Music, Rolf Schmidt-Holz, was quoted as saying by German Sunday paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

EMI’s owner, buyout firm Terra Firma, is asking investors for 360 million pounds ($557 million) for the British music company to prevent the investment from falling into lenders’ hands, a source told Reuters last month.

EMI, home of artists like the Beatles and Coldplay, tried but failed to agree a licensing deal for its North American rights in March after holding talks with Sony Music and Universal Music Group (VIV.PA).

Warner Music (WMG.N) Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman on Thursday declined to comment on speculation that the U.S. music company was eyeing assets of EMI.

The head of BMG, the music venture owned by Bertelsmann and KKR, told the Financial Times last week BMG would not bid for EMI in the near term, even though it was seeking to replicate the success of its U.S. deal-making in the Britain.

The world’s largest music company Universal owned by Vivendi (VIV.PA), said in March it was not holding talks with Terra Firma about a deal for EMI.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Erica Billingham)