A person familiar with the matter says Warner Music Group's search for a buyer of its publishing arm, Warner/Chappell, is partly intended to clear a path for it to buy all of British recording giant EMI.

The person wasn't authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

Without the sale, combining Warner Music Group Corp.'s publishing arm with EMI's would have resulted in about a 30 percent U.S. market share, which would attract regulatory scrutiny, the person says.

EMI, nearing a default on its debts, is expected to be taken over by its lender Citigroup, this year. Warner is the only likely buyer if Citigroup sells.

Warner hired Goldman Sachs to help sell its publishing arm, said the person and another who also wasn't authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

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