New York – Major record label Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) (WMG) has
hired Goldman Sachs to seek out potential buyers for the company, The New York
Times reported, citing an executive briefed on the matter. Already, several
suitors including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) have reportedly approached
Warner Music management.
The Times notes that KKR is also party to a music
licensing joint venture with former major label owner Bertelsmann, which spawned its initial interest in talks with Warner.
A source told The Times KKR had initially approached Warner about a joint bid for EMI, but
discussions then turned to KKR buying Warner outright.
It’s possible the
company may opt to sell only its Warner/Chappell music publishing unit.
Music has also reportedly set Goldman to work on a deal to acquire struggling
fellow major record label EMI.
Goldman has reportedly reached out to Citigroup,
which financed private equity firm Terra Firma’s acquisition of EMI, and which
may soon control EMI if the label misses upcoming debt repayments.