The NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin pens an ode to Warner Music Group’s Edgar Bronfman Jr. Andrew has known Edgar for 10 years, and says he gets a bum rap: He’s no dummy, he’s quite likeable, he works hard, etc.
Andrew also tries to defend Edgar’s tenure at WMG: While the stock, hovering around $6, is 65% below its IPO price, Edgar’s institutional backers have made money on the deal. Edgar’s real mistake is now obvious in hindsight: Not buying WMG from Time Warner, but in not selling it to EMI for $31. Even that, Andrew argues, isn’t entirely his fault: — his board/backers were holding out for even more. That won’t assauge WMG’s public investors, though:
What Mr. Bronfman should have done was to push harder for an all-cash deal, even if that meant a lower price. He should have seen the troubles in the industry and sold. He would have been a hero. There’s a book about Mr. Bronfman that was published in Canada with a title that captures him perfectly. Its title is “The Icarus Factor.”