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EMI shares rise as takeover nears

Speculation suggests that deal with Permira is close

LONDON — EMI shares continued to climb Friday following reports that the company is set to agree to a take-over bid by private equity firm Permira.

Neither company would comment on the speculation, but the Wall Street Journal claimed that talks between the two were close to reaching a positive conclusion.

On the London stock exchange more than three times the daily average of EMI stock were traded, with the company’s price up more than 3.5% at 4 p.m. to more than 296 pence ($5.81).

That gives EMI a market capitaliza-tion of £2.38 billion ($4.67 billion). To be successful in a bid, Permira would have to figure in a premium for the stock. Sources believe that the financial institution is lining up a £2.5 billion ($4.9 billion) bid. Others believe that EMI’s board is holding out for closer to £2.8 billion ($5.5 billion).

As with many takeover deals, ob-servers believe the companies may wait until the markets close to make an announcement.