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Bertelsmann confirms it is acquisition hungry

By | Published on Wednesday 27 March 2013


BMG owner Bertelsmann plans to make a number of sizable acquisitions in the near future, the media firm’s CEO Thomas Rabe has confirmed. That acquisition spree will likely be funded, in part at least, by a planned flotation of 17% of the group’s television company RTL, which would reduce Bertelsmann’s stake in the business to 75%, and would likely raise in excess of two billion euros. The exact timing of that flotation will be influenced by RTL’s share price.

In a financial briefing, Rabe said that he was particularly interested in growing his company’s interests in digital, education and music rights, the latter via the v2 BMG business, which Bertelsmann took complete control of at the start of the month, bringing to an end its JV with equity group KKR. Rabe added that he would be primarily looking to acquire existing businesses in these areas that were valued between 500 and 750 million euros.

Despite being acquisition hungry, it seems unlikely the Bertelsmann board would advocate a flotation of the media group itself to raise new funds. The Bertelsmann company is owned by the Mohn family and their Foundation, and when asked about any possible IPO of the group Rabe said that would not happen for the “foreseeable future”.