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Musicmaker.com readies $420 million IPO

EMI's favourite online music company comes to market

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US custom CD supplier Musicmaker.com is set to make its IPO following a three-month delay incurred when the company went into takeover talks with British music giant EMI, one of the world's 'big five' music labels. In the end, EMI bought just half of the company, in exchange for Musicmaker.com gaining the rights to EMI's back catalogue of recordings for a five-year period. Since Musicmaker.com is also edging its way into the digital distribution of music, the deal also gives EMI access to the expertise it will need if and when it decides to go down that route itself, as almost all of its fellow major labels are. Musicmaker.com's renewed IPO effort will see some 8.4 million shares offered on Nasdaq. According to today's London Times, the IPO was to have taken place last week, but was further delayed because of concerns raised by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The initial share price was not revealed, but the Times said analysts reckon Musicmaker.com will raise between $360 million and $420 million. Musicmaker's IPO follows a spate of Internet music companies rushing to cash in on the interesting in Net stocks, most notably online music vendor MP3.com and music software company Liquid Audio. Curiously, Liquid Audio is also EMI's chosen technology partner for its own online music endeavours. ®

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