Report: Bertelsmann AG Selling BMG Music Publishing To Keep Stake In Sony BMG
May 25, 2006 at 1:56 PM (PT)
REUTERS reports that BERTELSMANN AG has announced its intentions to retain ownership of SONY BMG after determining it can afford to pay $5.8 billion to buy back a 25% stake held by its only outside investor, GROUPE BRUXELLES LAMBERT (GBL), which had planned to take its stake in the private company public (see NET NEWS 3/27).
While BERTELSMANN AG is keeping its stake in SONY BMG, the GERMAN conglomerate is putting the BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING unit up for sale to help finance the acquisition of GBL's stake. Analysts and industry execs told REUTERS that BMG, which owns the rights to songs by COLDPLAY, NELLY, and others could be worth between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion
"We have no intention to sell our 50 percent stake, and we're working on our partnership with SONY," BERTELSMANN CFO THOMAS RABE told REUTERS.
RABE added that BERTELSMANN is still on the hunt for additional acquisitions.