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Does change in Bertelsmann status pre-empt share sale?

By | Published on Thursday 30 August 2012


Is BMG co-owner Bertelsmann preparing a share sale to raise some cash to fund a period of expansion, especially in Asia and South America, where newish CEO Thomas Rabe is known to have ambitions?

Well, the Mohn family who control the German media giant don’t generally like sharing their business assets. But Hypebot has noted that a recent change in legal status under German company law – so that the business is now a KGaA (partnership limited by shares) rather than an AG (joint stock company) – might be a move designed to enable a partial IPO while protecting the interests of the Mohns.

Though the official line is that the shift from AG to KGaA is an “identity-preserving change of legal form”, and is not intended to have any major impact on the company’s ownership or corporate structure. So a Bertelsmann IPO? Possibly, but also, possibly not.