Live Nation Interested In Warner Music?
April 1, 2011

Live Nation has reportedly become the newest bidder on Warner Music Group, focusing on the label's recorded music division. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Live Nation has placed a bid on WMG, but it is unknown how much the bid was for, or how aggressive Live Nation plans to be in their pursuit of the label.

The WSJ notes that a Live Nation-WMG combination, along with Front Line Management, would be able to handle "virtually every facet of an artist's career" with "across-the-board marketing and promotional events." However, the paper also warns that such a purchase would bring intense regulatory scrutiny, perhaps even more than the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger. Meanwhile, the New York Post notes that Live Nation still holds $1.7 billion in long term debt, and one source says that "Wall Street will kill them for this," if the company goes ahead with its pursuit of WMG.

According to the Post, the second round of bidding for WMG is expected to close in two weeks.

The WSJ also mentions that as recently as February, Live Nation Chairman Irving Azoff publicly denied the company was interested in owning either WMG or EMI, which is also expected to officially be put up for sale later this year.

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Manny Simon
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Republic Records

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