Will Citigroup be forced to hang on to EMI for a while longer, rather than selling the music group? There is confusion around the auction process for EMI, with reports on Friday and Saturday suggesting that two of the main suitors have pulled out of talks. The Guardian reported on Friday that Universal Music Group quit the bidding process late in the week, “leaving the wealthy businessman Len Blavatnik in pole position to buy the bulk of the business”. But then on Saturday, the Financial Times had its own scoop, claiming that the Access Industries boss had also walked away from the auction process, after refusing to increase his bid for EMI’s recorded music division from $1.5 billion – thought to be below Citigroup’s asking price. The FT reported that negotiations for EMI’s publishing division may have “made more progress” with a $2 billion offer from BMG. The question now is when (or whether) UMG and Blavatnik will return to the table for the recorded music arm.

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