LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Warner Music Group said it will not launch a counterbid for UK record label EMI Group, leaving the way clear for buyout company Terra Firma's agreed 2.4 bln stg takeover offer.
The US music major, home to acts like Madonna, said in a statement that it has decided against bidding for EMI, after saying in early June that it was weighing a bid for the Beatles and Coldplay publisher.
EMI's board recommended a 265 pence-per-share takeover bid from Terra Firma in late May. Just days later Warner Music indicated that it was considering making a play for EMI, provided that a tie-up of the two groups gained the approval of EU regulators.
Warner Music's withdrawal marks the end of a 7-year courtship saga, during which the both companies have tried and failed to buy each other on numerous occasions.
The most recent episode saw EMI turn down a 260-pence-a-share bid from Warner Music in March this year. The US group swooped after a plunge in the EMI share price following two profit warnings in the space of five weeks.
Earlier this month, Terra Firma's proposed takeover bid was cleared by the European Commission, which is still re-examining the controversial 2004 merger of Sony Corp's and Bertelsmann's music operations.