Hands tipped for Warner - and back to EMI

GUY Hands, the financier who lost control of record label EMI earlier this month, is believed to have been invited to make a bid for rival Warner Music - which could lead him back to make a further approach to EMI.

Terra Firma, Hand's private equity firm, surrendered EMI to bankers at Citigroup after failing to meet the conditions of its loan agreement with the lender.

But now Warner - the world's third-largest music company, with artists on its books including Enya, Faith Hill and Paramor - has asked investment bank Goldman Sachs to look at a potential sale of the business, while also considering a bid for EMI.

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Hands is understood to have been approached about making a possible takeover approach for Warner and then another bid for EMI. If he were to take over both groups then Hands could face regulatory hurdles.

New York-listed Warner, with a stock market value of about 560 million, has asked suitors to submit first-round bids for both or either of its recorded music or publishing arms by the end of the month. The group is believed to have received offers from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Canada Pension Plan and Dutch music publisher Imagem among others.