Stock Market Expects Warner Bid For EMI

London traders still seem convinced that it’s only a matter of time before EMI is the subject of a bid from Time Warner, as the British music company’s shares pushed up to 257 pence during April 9.

According to The Daily Telegraph‘s “Markets” section, the consensus among brokers is that the offer is likely to come in at around 300p per share.

Despite the problems and worldwide publicity still surrounding the Sony BMG merger, and the fact the European indie labels are currently appealing against it, EMI continues to be the subject of numerous takeover rumours.

Five days before the Telegraph piece, and a day after shares had risen 6.5p to 255p, The Independent reported that “quality buyers” were “piling into the stock” and said traders were also speculating that Apple Computers might also be lining up a bid.

A bid from that quarter would seem to be anything but imminent, given that Apple is currently in court arguing with its namesake, The Beatles’ Apple Corps, to get a ruling on whether it’s breached a long-standing agreement that prevents it from operating in the music business.

The Independent pointed out that Apple’s iTunes is by far the market leader in downloading music, but doesn’t own any content. The current action in London’s High Court suggests that Apple Corps – which is owned by the former Beatles and their heirs – intends for it to stay that way.

The company is asking for multimillion-pound damages against the computer firm, which is rebutting the action on the grounds that its successful iTunes Music Store is merely data transmission.

– John Gammon