With the auction for Warner Music Group entering its final round it seems to be shaping up to be a two-way contest with he real competition between the billionaire Gores brothers and Russian-born businessman Len Blavatnik's Access Industries. The Gores have submitted a bid valued at $7.50 a share, or around $3 billion and Warner shares closed yesterday at $7.40, down about 1 percent. Blavatnik, a close ally of Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman and who already owns 2 percent of the company. has also bid around $3 billion for the music company according to the New York Post. The NYP also report that KKR-backed BMG Rights Management is said to be out of the Warner mix and has set its sights on acquiring EMI, possibly as a joint bid with Universal, although there is speculation that the they may re-enter the Warner’s battle with a joint bid. The UK’s Daily Telegraph reports that If either were successful it is thought BMG would take any publishing assets while Universal would take ownership of the record labels. EMI’s owners Citigroup is expected to start publicly taking bids for EMI in the next two months.
In other Warner’s news, Miami-based hip hop label DM Records, which boasts some Tupac, MC Breed and Prince tracks in its catalogue, is suing Warner Music in a dispute over digital distribution rights.