HITS Daily Double

UMG-EC update

THE HOME STRETCH? We hear that UMG negotiators are still in Brussels meeting with the EC’s Case Team, as it’s called, hammering out the divestment package. Once that task is completed, the Case Team will then take the package and “test market” it for five days, after which it will likely render a decision. Exciting, huh? Universal is now more than a week past the initial deadline for filing deal remedies. Its final deadline for the proposal is Aug. 1, and if it files by then, the EC will have to rule on the merger by Sept. 27. UMG is due to pay Citigroup more than $1.7 billion of the $1.9 billion purchase price by early September, regardless of whether the EC has approved the deal by then. Citi and Universal have discussed extending the payment deadline by about two months, but haven't reached an agreement. (7/25a)