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Warner Music among nine groups vying for Universal's Parlophone: FT

PARIS (Reuters) - Warner Music and a joint venture led by British impresario Simon Fuller are among nine groups interested in buying Parlophone from Vivendi's Universal Music Group, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Universal has received nine preliminary non-binding proposals for the label, the Financial Times website reported, citing industry sources.

Universal is being forced to sell the business to satisfy regulators' concerns about its $1.9 billion takeover of the recorded music business of EMI.

Apart from Warner, Universal has also received proposals from Blackwell Fuller, a venture backed by Lord Jacob Rothschild's RIT Capital Partners that includes Fuller, the entertainment entrepreneur, and Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records as well as one from Ronald Perelman's investment company MacAndrews & Forbes, the FT said.

BMG, a joint venture between Bertelsmann and KKR, and Sony Music were also expected to take part in the bidding process, the paper said. They have signed non-disclosure agreements but have not submitted non-binding proposals

Citing the sources, the FT said Warner, Blackwell Fuller and Perelman were interested in other Universal assets on the block, including the Sanctuary and Mute labels and the Now compilations.

Universal Music could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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