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Acquisitions

Bertelsmann takes control of BMG music rights firm

Bertelsmann has said it has taken ownership of music rights management firm BMG after buying out the stake of US investor KKR. With the deal, Europe's biggest media group aims to re-introduce music to its portfolio.

Robert Stolt zeigt am Mittwoch (07.09.2011) am Stand des Labels Neopren auf der Musikmesse Popkomm auf dem Gelände des ehemaligen Flughafens Tempelhof in Berlin eine Schallplatte. Auf der Musikmesse Popkomm dreht sich vom 07.09.2011 bis zum 09.09.2011 alles um das Thema Musik. Mehr als 400 Aussteller aus 21 Ländern sind dabei. Im Mittelpunkt des Branchentreffs steht das digitale Geschäft. Foto: Britta Pedersen dpa/lbn

Deutschland Musik Berlin Musikmesse Popkomm 2011

Bertelsmann, which already owned 49 percent of BMG, brought the music rights company under its control by acquiring the 51-percent stake held by US-based private equity firm KKR.

The two sides didn't disclose a sum for the deal, but the Financial Times reported last week that the buy-out would cost Bertelsmann an estimated 500 million euros ($654 million).

BMG was founded in 2008 and is known as BMG Chrysalis in a number of countries, including Britain and the United States. The firm owns the publishing rights to more than a million music titles, including works by artists such as Duran Duran, Gossip and Johnny Cash. In addition, BMG has so-called master rights to songs by Brian Ferry, Nena and Anastacia, which include both rights to composition and recording.

"This is a great day for Bertelsmann. We are bringing the music home to our group," Bertelsmann Chief Executive Thomas Rabe said after announcing the deal Friday. Rabe described KKR as a good partner, adding, however, that full ownership of BMG was an important step in Bertelsmann's growth strategy.

The buy-out is still subject to approval by EU regulators. But Bertelsmann said it hoped the procedure could be closed within the first half of 2013.

uhe/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

DW.DE