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EMI Bidding War in Home Stretch

EMI RACE DOWN TO THE WIRE: As Citigroup's EMI Group auction draws to a close, pre-game favorite Len Blavatnik's Access Industries has emerged as the front-runner for the recorded music section, and KKR's BMG Rights Management the odds-on pick to grab publishing. The wild card is corporate raider Ron Perelman, who is looking to buy the whole enchilada, but needs time to raise the funds. If Citigroup does complete its deals with Blavatnik (said to be in the $1.2-1.4bn range) and KKR ($1.7-2bn) first, then Perelman is left holding the bag. Most music biz insiders would prefer to see the Blavatnik/KKR combo prevail, creating three major record groups with approximately an equal worldwide mrketshare in the 25-27% range, with the prevailing thinking that Perelman, who often swoops in and acquires distressed companies, would merely parcel out the assets anyway. (10/26p)
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