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Napster founder to buy EMI?

Music entrepreneur Sean Parker, a co-founder of music file-sharing service, Napster, and billionaire investor Ron Burkle have teamed up again and are considering making a bid for music label EMI.

The duo, which was interested in being part of a bid for Warner Music Group, are seeking to partner with an existing bidder or, possibly, jumping into the bidding process already under way, sources said.

Second-round bids for EMI, which houses artists such as Coldplay, The Beatles and Katy Perry, are due by the first week of October, these sources added.

Citigroup, which had originally told bidders to expect a decision by mid-October, is now signalling that it could be another two months before a decision is made.

Some sources have suggested that EMI boss Roger Faxon could even stay on to run the company, depending on whether Citigroup decides to split the company in two or keep it whole.

Warner Music Group is understood to have submitted bids that would win it either the recorded business or both the recorded and publishing sides of the company.

Parker and supermarket magnate Burkle saw Warner Music eventually sold to Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.

Other bidders for EMI are said to include Universal Music Group, Sony Corp., Warner Music Group, Ron Perelman’s McAndrews & Forbes and KKR’s BMG. Sources close to Parker say he is not interested in investing personally but is introducing those who hope to do so to the lead bidders. Burkle did not return a call for comment.

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