BMG has denied that previously reported claim that KKR was reconsidering its shareholding in the music company, and might exit earlier than planned if the firm fails to acquire any of the EMI companies and catalogues currently up for sale.
As reported yesterday, the New York Post said that KKR was pushing for more rapid expansion of BMG, its joint venture with Bertelsmann, and that the acquisition of one or more of the EMI assets that Sony and Universal are being forced to sell by competition regulators would enable such speedy growth. In particular the acquisition of the Parlophone business and Chrysalis sound recordings catalogue in the UK.
So keen was KKR for such growth, the Post’s sources alleged, that it might exit the music venture sooner than planned if no EMI deal came off. Though, as we pointed out, a Parlophone acquisition may not fit with BMG’s plans in the sound recordings domain (given its insistence it will not become a traditional record company again), and certainly BMG bosses have indicated they are not interested in entering a rampant bidding war that might result in overpaying for any EMI assets, a policy the private equity dudes at KKR would presumably endorse.
Either way, BMG spokesman Ryan O’Keeffe told Bloomberg yesterday: “There are no immediate plans for a KKR exit from BMG and nor is there any link between a KKR exit and the outcome of any EMI-related process”.