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EMI in bid talks

EMI is in early stage talks with private equity houses, underlining private equity’s interest in the media and entertainment sectors.

Goldman Sachs and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts have reportedly approached UK music company EMI about a potential £2.5 billion bid.

Abbey Road: The Beatles outside EMI studios

EMI said in a statement that the approach might not lead to a bid.  Kohlberg Kravis Roberts declined to comment while Goldman Sachs could not be reached.

This follows Goldman Sachs and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ failed bid for the publishing assets Bertelsmann, a German media group, earlier this year.

In July EMI’s merger talks with Warner Music collapsed after a European court doubted whether regulators would allow further consolidation in the music industry.

Today ITV announced that it has poached BBC chairman Michael Grade to become the channel’s executive chairman.  ITV sold its stake in TV3, the only privately-owned free-to-air national terrestrial commercial television channel in the Republic of Ireland, to Doughty Hanson, a European private equity firm, for £70 million in August.

Earlier this month Advent International, European entertainment network RTL Group and Goldman Sachs sold European sports marketing company Sportfive to French media group Lagardere, for €865 million.

In October Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Permira, a European buyout firm, showed interest in buying a large minority stake in French media group Vivendi.