When is an EMI bid not really a bid?
If you’ve covered the music business as long as some of us there are some news cycle days a decade or two apart which seem to merge seamlessly into each other.
For instance EMI, the storied label and publishing home to artists from the Beatles to Coldplay, seems to have permanently been on sale since time began and sometimes you just wish it would be over as a journalist. With each potential transaction there’s the subterfuge and speculation of unnamed deal sources guiding journalists which way the deal might go and this tends to drag on and on for a while.
So you can can imagine our surprise when a press release crossed the wire this afternoon announcing ex-Universal Music and ex-Warner Music executive Jim Caparro has teamed up with Alliance Warburg Capital Management to make an offer to buy all of EMI Group ‘s music and publishing units.
It was almost too good to be true, which meant we had to ask ourselves a few questions:
1) How come Caparro (now chief executive of Yamani Global Equities) hasn’t ever come up in previous discussions with anyone we’ve spoken with about this process.
2) Since when did serious bidders for in any sizable transaction put out press releases before a deal was done?
3) Is it us, or is us or is it unusual that bidders for a business as big as EMI would only have registered their website address for Yamani just in the last month?
4) Most important of all wouldn’t Yamani/Alliance Warburg Capital have to sign an NDA if they had put in a formal bid for EMI — thereby preventing them from putting out a press release about it?
We’ve since heard from a good source that the Caparro group hasn’t seen an EMI presentation let alone done any due diligence. We’re also still hoping to hear from Steven Canady of Alliance Warburg Capital who we left a message for a couple of hours ago.
This isn’t the first time an EMI auction process appears to feature what we can only call an unorthodox bidder.
Back in 2007 another music veteran ‘Lucky’ Jim Fifield was thought to have prepped a bid for EMI with his private equity partner Corvus Capital to compete with private equity financier Guy Hands’ Terra Firma offer.
The Fifield/Corvus offer never materialized. We hope this Jim (Caparro) is a bit more lucky.
Press release below:
Yamani Global Equities, Inc. Throws Its Hat into the Fray for EMI Group, Plc.
PR Newswire NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2011 NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — James Caparro, the Chief Executive Officer of Yamani Global Equities, Inc. in partnership with Alliance Warburg Capital Management® today announced that the company has made an offer to acquire EMI Group, Inc.’s music and publishing Units.
Mr. Caparro commented: “This is the first step in the execution of our turnaround plan to guide EMI’s assets through the integration of our five prong revenue model that will lead the company into providing consumers and customers with music and entertainment services utilizing twenty first century technologies.” Jim Caparro’s background consists of over 25 years of executive management, evaluating business situations along with developing effective solutions.
He founded The Entertainment Distribution Company, The Island Def Jam Music Group which became one of the largest and most profitable record labels in the industry and created PolyGram Group Distribution. His prior experience includes serving as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Elektric – Atlantic Records (WEA).
About Yamani Global Equities, Inc.: Yamani Global Equities, Inc. is a private equity firm focused primarily on companies involved in the sports and entertainment sector. The expertise of the firm’s investment team, strategic partners and Advisory Boards is unparalleled in depth and breadth. In addition, YGE is a leader in strategic sports and entertainment partnering, an invaluable practice to build value in portfolio companies and to accelerate their growth and development.