US-based Warner Music Group says it has decided against making an offer to acquire British rival music company EMI.
But Warner Music, based in New York, said last night that it reserves the right to make an offer or to participate in a takeover bid for EMI by someone other than the private-equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners.
EMI's board recommended in May that its shareholders accept a $4.88bn (€3.53bn) takeover offer from Terra Firma, which is run by financier Guy Hands.
Since then, Terra Firma has extended a deadline for EMI to accept the offer, most recently on Friday, when it set a deadline for Thursday.
EMI is home to stars including Lily Allen, Norah Jones and Robbie Williams.
Many EMI stockholders have been waiting to see if Warner would come forward with a more lucrative offer.
Maltby Ltd, Terra Firma's takeover vehicle, said last week that it has received acceptances for around 3.82% of EMI's issued share capital under its offer.