The Financial Times earlier said Universal, the world's largest music company, would pay owner Citigroup
Vivendi declined to comment, while Citigroup was not available to comment.
Universal returned to the auction this week after pulling out in a dispute with Citigroup
Billionaire Len Blavatnik, the owner of Warner Music Group, had been seen as the frontrunner but walked away last week after Citigroup turned down his offer of about $1.5 billion, two people familiar with the talks said.
(Reporting by Kate Holton in London and Elena Berton and Gwenaelle Barzic in Paris; Editing by Will Waterman)