Freshfields, Herbies bag emi-warner talks

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith are tipped to advise on takeover talks between EMI and Warner Music. The firms, which are advising the respective companies, are remaining tight-lipped on Warner’s takeover bid. Herbert Smith M&A specialist James Palmer is Warner’s relationship partner, while corporate partner Mark Rawlinson and competition partner Rachel Brandenburger manage the EMI relationship at Freshfields. In 2006 EMI made an offer for Warner at $31 (£16) per share, with Warner retaliating with a preconditional offer for EMI at 320p per share. The talks were abandoned when a two-year campaign by independent music group Impala led to the EU stopping the merger between Sony and Bertelsmann Music Group on competition grounds. But news that Warner has secured the support of Impala for its revived merger talks could see the takeover go ahead.