Bids are due today for the Warner Music Group in the auction being run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and AGM Partners LLC.
According to CNBC, Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies reportedly leads the bidding with $3 billion, topping a reported $2.8 billion offer from BMG. But a source close to the situation questioned the status of Yucaipa's offer when asked by Billboard.biz, and in the past other sources have said bids ranged from $2.7 billion to $3.3 billion. Also, sources told Billboard.biz that BMG's bid is believed to be $2.9 billion.
A new bidder for the recorded music operation has emerged, as well: Ronald Perelman of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., which owns Revlon and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group and nine other companies, has put in a bid for the recorded music operation. Perelman, the chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes and is the chairman of Revlon, is yet another high-profile bidder that is no stranger to the gossip pages.
Other billionaires bidding for WMG include Leonard Blavatnik's Access Industries and Finnish businessman Poju Zabludowicz. Other bidders include Guggenheim Partners, a principal owner of Billboard parent company Prometheus Group; recently revealed contender Live Nation; European private-equity firm Permira; and private-equity firms Platinum Equity and the Gores Group.
In the past all have declined to comment or have not responded to inquiries about their involvement in the auction, and now MacAndrews & Forbes joins that list.