Warner Music Group has swiftly rejected the latest attempt at a takeover by EMI, its larger, British based rival. EMI had offered 3.3 billion euros in cash and stock, but within 24 hours Warner said that a deal would not benefit its shareholders.
A merger would create a company with about a quarter of the recorded music market that could compete more effectively with the top two – Universal Music and Sony BMG.
Currently, EMI is the world’s third largest record label and Warner is the fourth biggest.
EMI responded that it continues to believe a merger would be very attractive to both sets of shareholders.
This was the third attempt in just over five years to bring together the two music companies. In 2000 European competition regulators blocked the idea. And in 2003, EMI lost out to a consortium of private equity companies led by Edgar Bronfman Junior and including billionaire media mogul Haim Saban. They bought Warner from parent company Time Warner for an estimated 2.4 billion euros.