London, Oct 16 : British composer Lord Lloyd-Webber is trying to mount a 200 million dollars-plus bid for 'The Sound of Music', and other Broadway musicals written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
Others who are in the race for the catalogue are EMI and Sony/ATV, ABP, the Dutch pension fund that owns Boosey and Hawkes, while Universal Music, the market leader, and The Walt Disney Company believe that the asking price is too high, Times Online reported.
Lord Lloyd-Webber's interest in stretching his West End empire across the Atlantic is because The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organisation (R and H) represents his works in America, a position which gives him some leverage over the outcome.
Included in it is a change of control clause, which allows him to take back his works from R and H, where a meaningful, but unspecified proportion of the group's turnover is represented.
R and H had been established more than 60 years ago as a producer for Rodgers and Hammerstein's own works, and it includes South Pacific, The King and I and Oklahoma!
Oscar Hammerstein, the lyricist, died in 1960, and Richard Rodgers, the composer, in 1979.
R and H stakes are being controlled by a family trust, but now the company is up for sale as its key shareholders, Mary Rodgers Guettel and Alice Hammerstein Mathias, the men's daughters - are ageing and the families want to explore whether it is worth cashing out.