Warners mulls counterbid for EMI

Possible offer could block Terra Firma bid

Patient investors hoping they can squeeze a bit more out of their stake in EMI Group could be in luck after Warner Music Group said it is still pondering an offer for its rival.

EMI’s board has already agreed to a $4.7 billion cash offer from private equity company Terra Firma, but that deal has a £24 million ($48 million) get-out clause, should a better offer emerge than Terra Firma’s $5.22 per share bid.

In a statement Monday, Warner said if it does make an improved bid, “Such an offer would be pre-conditional on appropriate anti-trust clearances being obtained.”

Those anti-trust clearances would involve obtaining a greenlight from the European Commission, which has twice blocked a Warner EMI merger in the past. However, earlier this year Warner was given unprecedented backing from independent trade organization Impala after the parties sat down to discuss Warner’s intentions and planned divestments should it purchase EMI.

Warner may come back with an offer of about $5.91 per share for EMI within the next few days. Under EMI’s agreement with Terra Firma, any counter offer for the company has to be made before June 27.

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