Chrysalis Shares Perked By Sales Talks

Shares in music publisher Chrysalis (ticker CHS on the London stock exchange) shot up 23 percent to 135 pence as the company confirmed it’s received several approaches about a merger or full takeover.

The share price hike came Nov. 1, a day after The Sunday Times reported chairman Chris Wright may be considering retirement and is looking for an external investor to help grow the business.

The Chrysalis group, which has a back catalogue that includes tracks by David Bowie, Robbie Williams, and Michael Jackson, said it was holding discussions with a number of parties that could lead to an offer.

The music company founded by Wright and Terry Ellis in 1969 hasn’t revealed who the suitors are but various UK papers have speculated that it could be Bug Music, which has a 250,000-strong rights catalogue and is backed by private equity. Other potential suitors are Imagem Music and Germany’s acquisition-hungry BMG Rights Management.

Ellis sold his shares to Wright, who is chairman and retains a 29 percent stake, in 1985. The recorded music side of the business was sold to EMI in 1991.

In 2007, the radio division, including Heart and Galaxy, was sold to Global Radio for £170 million.

The rest of the Chrysalis stock is held by institutional investors including Schroders, North Atlantic Value and Guinness Peat.