Warner Music Group Corp. is preparing a new bid to buy the world's third largest music company, EMI Group Plc, the British newspaper The Times reported.

According to the report, which cites unnamed sources, Warner Music's Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman had emphasized the benefits of a future tie-up during a visit to London earlier this month but hasn't discussed a specific bid. The Times said Bronfman was thought to have spoken to Fidelity Investments which holds a 7 percent stake in EMI, as well as Aberdeen Asset Management and several some hedge funds. The companies declined comment.

EMI is home to artists Robbie Williams and Coldplay, among others, while Warner Music, the smallest of the four major music companies, is the label of Madonna and Gnarls Barkley. Warner is based in New York with its West Coast headquarters in Burbank.

Earlier this year the two labels were engaged in a $4.6-billion takeover battle, with each company trying to buy the other. They later backed away due to a European court nixing a merger of Sony Corp.'s Sony Music and Bertelsmann's BMG in 2004.

Shares in Warner Music were up 36 cents to $25.55 in early trading Wednesday.

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