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WMG favored to get Parlophone

WARNER IN IT TO WIN IT: The latest word on Parlophone is that Warner Music is now the favorite to win the auction. There’s lots of chatter this a.m., as Goldman Sachs, UMG’s banker for the sales of the EU-mandated divestitures of Parlophone and other smaller catalogs, gets ready to send books out to prospective buyers—or, as one insider dubbed them, the usual suspects. Those would be BMG, Sony Music, WMG, Apollo, Ron Perelman and Richard Branson, along with more than a dozen or so additional supposedly interested indies. Handicappers think Warner gets the brass ring here and becomes a stronger company both in Europe and the U.S. The acquisition would change the landscape to two and a half majors dominating the scene. Logically, BMG would be a strong contender if it weren't for partner KKR’s hesitancy to get into the frontline business. More to come, obviously. (10/23a)

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