Chrysalis stock rises on EMI rumor

Share price climbs 10%

LONDON — Shares in Chrysalis Group rose sharply Friday after unconfirmed reports emerged about a bid for the music company by new EMI owner Guy Hands.

Hands’ private equity company Terra Firma announced a £200 million ($395 million) cost saving package for EMI earlier this week, which will involve the loss of up to 2,000 jobs and a restructure that aims to completely change the traditional record company model.

However, his reported interest in the assets of Chrysalis Group — which has been on the market for sale for the best part of a year — has come as a surprise to industry observers, because many believe that Hands’ confidence in the music business had diminished since his £2.4 billion ($4.7 billion) takeover of EMI.

The market value of Chrysalis rose more than 10% on the speculation this morning, to nearly 110 pence per share, pricing the company at a little more than £70 million ($138 million).

Having sold its radio station assets last year for £170 million ($336 million), Chrysalis now comprises a music publishing division, a distribution business and the Echo record label.

The company owns publishing rights for acts such as Blondie, David Gray, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Outkast, among others, and would be a good addition to the library of EMI Music Publishing, which is the most profitable division of Hands’ EMI Group.

Neither Terra Firma nor Chrysalis would comment on the rumor, but earlier this week Chrysalis said negotiations regarding a possible takeover were in progress.