Bertelsmann takes full control of BMG rights unit

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 15:30 hrs

Media group Bertelsmann AG is taking full control of the BMG music rights management business, buying the stake held by private equity company KKR & Co.

Bertelsmann said Friday that the two companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the first half of this year.

Bertelsmann says BMG administers the rights to 1 million songs, including music by Duran Duran, Johnny Cash, and others. It says BMG, based in Berlin, is the world's fourth-largest music rights management business.

Bertelsmann, which is privately held, also owns European broadcaster RTL Group, book publisher Random House and magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr. So far, it held 49 percent of BMG, while KKR held 51 percent.

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