LONDON: Ailing British music giant EMI, clearly cognizant of George Farquahar's observation that "Hanging and marriage . . . go by Destiny", is again contemplating the latter in the hope of avoiding the former.

Ardent swain Warner Music is, for the umpteenth time, in the throes of constructing a takeover package for the UK firm - a process interrupted only by EMI countering with its own bid for the US company.

In what is rapidly coming to resemble a Neil Simon farce, the turbulent romance continues. Driven, perhaps by rumours of romantic inclinations by private equity Romeos.

Says EMI: "If a proposal is made, it will be considered with a particular focus on conditionality, the regulatory and operational risk profile, and on valuation in relation to the company's stand alone value and the value creation available from a combination."

Which, while not exactly lovin' talk, could be construed as a definite "maybe".

Data sourced from The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff