SECOND round of bids for embattled music giant EMI closed yesterday, with five suitors expected to have made offers for some or all of the firm.
The company will now consider the offers over a period of around two weeks before informing bidders about the next stage of the process.
EMI, home to iconic bands including the Beatles and Coldplay, is expected to fetch between £3bn and £4bn.
Industry sources say depressed market conditions could lead to bids coming in at less than EMI’s owner Citigroup had hoped for. It is understood the firm could even delay the sale of the asset until the new year if its valuation is not met.
Major rivals Warner Music, Vivendi-owned Universal Music, BMG and Sony/ATV are all interested in EMI, while buyout specialist Ronald Perelman has emerging as another leading contender.
The company may be split in two as part of the sale, with the more valuable publishing arm being sold separately to the recorded music business.
A string of private equity firms had been linked with EMI over recent months but it is understood their interest waned as markets slumped.