EMI, the record group owned by Guy Hands' private equity firm Terra Firma, is eyeing up a £100m bid for classical sheet music publisher Boosey & Hawkes.
Owner Hg Capital, the private equity firm, is putting Boosey up for sale later this month and EMI has requested an information memorandum on the business. Close Brothers is running the auction.
A source close to EMI said that Boosey would appeal to the group as it would bolster its successful music publishing arm. Boosey owns rights to a who's who of 20th-century composers, including Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, and signed jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in January.
"Most of EMI's profits come from publishing, such as owning the original words to a song," said the source. "The media bang on about their artists so that they can put a picture of Kylie Minogue or Coldplay in the paper."
EMI previously bid for Boosey in early 2003, but pulled out due to a protracted auction process. Hg splashed out £44.3m later that year, though has subsequently been dogged by rumours that it wanted to exit.
Mr Hands paid £2.4bn for EMI last year and has undertaken a huge restructuring that has angered artists and will result in 2,000 redundancies.Reuse content