Warner Music Group is eyeing a public stock issue as early as next spring, according to a report published in the British trade press today (Sept. 23).

Warner Music Group is eyeing a public stock issue as early as next spring, according to a report published in the British trade press today (Sept. 23).

The Financial Times reports that the record company was preparing itself for a possible IPO as early as April, which could value it at up to $5 billion. A WMG spokesperson declined to comment.

The article kick-started an early morning rally for EMI Group stock on investors' speculation that a flotation could herald renewed merger talks between both majors. EMI stock rose 3p to 226.5 before cooling by midday.

EMI and WMG have twice attempted to merge in recent years. The first attempt was thwarted four years ago by European Union regulators. More recently, EMI walked away after Time Warner decided to sell WMG to a consortium led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. for $2.6 billion.