EMI is expected to join most of the world's major music groups and table a first-round bid tomorrow for £800m song rights giant BMG Publishing.
German owner Bertelsmann has put the New York-based business, which owns the rights to songs by Coldplay and Christina Aguilera, up for sale and hopes for a swift deal.
It needs to raise more than £3bn to buy back the 25% stake that Groupe Bruxelles Lambert has in Bertelsmann and so take back control of the business.American firm Warner Music, which EMI is hoping to buy, and France's Universal are also expected to put in offers for BMG Publishing, which makes operating profits of about £60m.
BMG Publishing is a separate company to Bertelsmann joint venture Sony BMG - a merger that is subject to a European court ruling this week.
The music firms are likely to be joined in tomorrow's bidding by a slew of private equity businesses including Permira, Cerberus, Apax and possibly Elevation Partners, the private equity firm co-founded by Bono, the frontman of rock band U2.
Meanwhile, EMI will issue a trading statement at its annual general meeting on Thursday in which it is likely to say that sales are good, with strong performances by artists including Corinne Bailey Rae, Lily Allen, KT Tunstall and The Kooks.
EMI's digital revenue from selling music for devices such as iPods continues to show strong growth. For the year to the end of March, digital revenues grew 135% to £112m.
The company's release schedule is also expected to be strong with new albums due from Robbie Williams, Norah Jones, Joss Stone and Keith Urban.
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