By Ed Christman, New York
With one bid still outstanding, the auction to sell off a portion of EMI's publishing catalog is now down to four suitors.
According to sources, those still in contention to buy the portfolio of songs -- dubbed the Rosetta catalog, which contains Virgin Music Publishing and Famous Music U.K. songwriters -- are BMG Rights Management, France's Because Music, and a joint bid from the Kobalt Music Group and G2 Investment Group (where former Evergreen Copyrights principle David Schulhof now works as a managing director, overseeing the private equity firm's media investments). The Warner Music Group is expected to turn in its second round bid -- which were due Nov. 19 -- by the end of week.
The catalog auction is being run by entertainment lawyer John Branca and Baltimore-based Shot Tower Capital on behalf of Sony/ATV and a consortium of investors.
The publishing assets have a net publisher's share of $12.5 million, according to sources. The assets include song catalogs of Duffy; Matt Cardle; Bullet For My Valentine; Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Andy McClusky; Bryan Ferry; Culture Club; Devo; Fine Young Cannibals; Iggy Pop; Lenny Kravitz; the Prodigy's Liam Howlett; Martha and the Muffins; Guru Josh AKA Paul Walden; Richard Ashcroft; Robbie Williams; Soul II Soul; Stereo MCs; Tears For Fears; Terence Trent D'arby; Texas; the Beloved; the Human League; Ben Harper; the Goo Goo Dolls; Ozzy Osbourne; Kurt Cobain; John Barry; Jim Steinman; the Crystal Method; Tool; Warrant; Mark Ronson; Ian Dury and Chaz Jenkel; Placebo; the Kooks; Take That's Gary Barlow; Jason Orange and Howard Donald.
Sony/ATV agreed to put the above assets up for sale in exchange of winning regulatory approval for the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing. A Sony Corp. of America-led consortium of investors acquired the EMI assets, with Sony/ATV serving as administrator.
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