Digest: Terra Firma makes EMI play


Private-equity firm Terra Firma on Wednesday formally launched its £2.4 billion ($4.7 billion) takeover play for music major EMI Group Plc., effectively setting a June 27 deadline for any counterbids. Sources said that Warner Music Group still is considering a rival proposal to the £2.65 per-share deal as is former EMI Music CEO Jim Fifield. With EMI's stock having recently moved above the price of the Terra offer, the market seems to expect a higher counter offer.

AT&T competitive

AT&T Inc.'s incoming CEO Randall Stephenson said at a Lehman Bros. conference Wednesday that the telecom giant has all the assets it needs to be competitive. Some saw this as a signal that AT&T will not look to acquire a satellite TV firm to more aggressively compete for video customers with cable as some have suggested. Stephenson is set to replace Ed Whitacre on Monday.

Nielsen mixed

The Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, reported a lower first-quarter operating profit Wednesday as one-time items outweighed a 5% revenue increase, assuming constant currencies, to $1.1 billion. Operating profit of $56 million compared with the $62 million recorded a year ago period on a comparable basis. The latest quarter included $19 million in restructuring and $8 million in other special costs.

Ubisoft positive

European video game publisher Ubisoft wants to stay cash positive in the current fiscal year even as it looks at acquisitions, chairman Yves Guillemot said Wednesday. CFO Alain Martinez told Reuters that Ubisoft is looking at two or three opportunities, notably development studios. He did not give details, but said possible targets are in the €1 million-€20 million ($1.3 million-$26.9 million) range.
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