Deals wrap: Blavatnik’s Access Industries wins bid for Warner Music

May 6, 2011

The headquarters of Warner Music Group is pictured in Burbank, California August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries has won control of Warner Music Group with an offer of $8.25 a share, according to a source familiar with the matter. The agreement would set the world’s third-largest music company’s enterprise value at approximately $3.3 billion.

The NYTimes’s Ben Protess shines a light on Len Blavatnik, chairman of Access Industries and the new controlling stakeholder of Warner Music Group. Well-known for his investing prowess, he came to America as a penniless teenager and after building a fortune on oil and metal companies, he’s worth roughly $10 billion.

In this analysis by Jennifer Saba, she argues that as Internet giants Google and Facebook slug it out to seal a deal with Web video conferencing service Skype, Facebook looks likely to be the more aggressive suitor, not to mention a better fit.

Investors frustrated in their attempts to buy some of the hundreds of failing U.S. banks are testing a new approach. Rather than wait for an ailing bank to be seized by regulators and sold off to a rival, dealmakers are touting a $6.5 million bankruptcy sale as a way to attract new investors able to infuse banks with life-saving capital.

Ailing carmaker Saab has asked Sweden’s debt office to approve a change in ownership so Chinese group Hawtai and U.S. investment fund Gemini can help get production restarted. Saab owner Spyker Cars said this week that the privately-owned Hawtai was eyeing an investment of 150 million euros ($210 million).

In a recent post, Breakingviews’ Robert Cyran sets out why he believes the merger between drugstore chain CVS and pharmacy benefit manager Caremark never made sense, and why the $50 billion company could be worth $13 billion more if it were carved up.

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