International media group Bertelsmann is taking full ownership of the innovative music rights management company BMG by acquiring the shares currently held by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), and will continue to develop BMG as a wholly owned subsidiary. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to close during the first half of this year. The parties have agreed to keep the financial details of the transaction confidential.
BMG represents songwriting copyrights of numerous artists including Johnny Cash, Kings of Leon and The Civil Wars.
Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe said: “This is a great day for Bertelsmann: We are bringing the music home to our group. A few years after our exit from the traditional music business, in association with KKR, we have succeeded in building the world’s fourth- largest music rights management business.” Rabe emphasized that KKR has been a good partner. “Our partnership made it possible for BMG to take advantage of consolidation opportunities and to rapidly advance the organic expansion of the business. I thank them for an excellent collaboration.”
Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG, said: “For BMG, this is a return home. Being a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading media companies opens up more fields of cooperation for us and our customers in the future, and we look forward to many new, long-term development opportunities. The worldwide increase in the use of music, and the emergence of new digital business models offer a variety of opportunities that we will actively explore. We are grateful to KKR for always sharing our vision of an alternative, service-oriented company in the music rights market, and for actively supporting us with their team these past three and a half years. Without KKR, this development would not have been possible.”
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