EMI to be sold in two pieces

EMI Group Ltd, the home of Coldplay and Katy Perry, looks increasingly likely to be sold off as two separate businesses - recorded music and song publishing – after final bids came in last week, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The music company is reviewing competing offers for EMI Publishing from BMG Music, a joint venture between Bertelsmann and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Sony/ATV -- a joint venture between Sony Corp and the estate of Michael Jackson, these people said.

BMG-KKR and Sony have submitted the highest offers for EMI's publishing business, the people said. One of them added that the two bids came in close to each other.

Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group and Len Blavatnik's Warner Music Group are vying for the recorded music side of EMI, people familiar with the matter said.

US bank Citigroup, which took control of EMI in February, is expected to pick winning bidders for the businesses by the end of next week, the people said.

While Warner Music has also been interested in buying all of EMI, significant anti-trust hurdles on the publishing segment, as well as challenges in lining up financing in a volatile market, makes such a deal unlikely, the people said.