Chrysalis being pursued


LONDON -- EMI Group chairman Guy Hands has made a bid for U.K. independent music group Chrysalis, Billboard understands.

The London Times and Reuters today report that there have also been rival indicative bids from Warner Chappell and Sony/ATV, as well as interest from several private equity funds and music publishers.

Chrysalis founder and chairman Chris Wright announced a review of the business last year, which could result in the sale of the company.

Chrysalis' music publishing arm has the rights to artists including David Bowie, Gnarls Barkley and Athlete, and it recently signed a worldwide deal with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Chrysalis also owns the Echo label and the international wholesale distribution business Lasgo Chrysalis.

The company sold its radio business last July for 170 million pounds ($340) in order to focus on its music companies. Last month Chrysalis said it was in preliminary discussions with "select parties" which could lead to an offer. Shares in Chrysalis today increased by almost 11%.

EMI declined comment. A spokesman for Chrysalis did not return calls.