July 20, 2007 / 6:13 AM / 13 years ago

Terra Firma nearer to gaining control of EMI

Lead singer Chris Martin of British rock band Coldplay, part of the EMI stable, performs during a concert in Santiago February 14, 2007. REUTERS/Nadie Perez (CHILE)

LONDON (Reuters) - Private equity company Terra Firma said on Friday over a quarter of EMI Group Plc’s EMI.L shareholders had accepted its 2.4 billion pound ($4.9 billion) takeover offer, days after two potential rivals bidders withdrew.

Terra Firma said in a statement 26.19 percent of British music company EMI’s shareholders had accepted its 265 pence per share deal, up from 3.82 percent on July 13

In the interim, two possible counterbidders, Warner Music Group WMG.N and former EMI chief executive Jim Fifield, said they had withdrawn from the battle.

That led EMI on Wednesday to urge its shareholders, who had been waiting to see if a higher counterbid would emerge, to sell to Terra Firma.

A Warner bid would likely have faced regulatory hurdles as a similar music deal is being examined by the European Commission, and analysts had said Warner would need to pay around 300 pence for EMI at a time when music revenues are falling.

Terra Firma got EMI’s board to agree to its offer in May largely based on the fact it would face no real regulatory resistance.

Terra Firma said on Friday it had extended until July 29 the period for other EMI shareholders to accept its offer.

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