Bertelsmann To Return To Publishing

Bertelsmann AG will set up a music publishing business one year after the German media company sold its BMG Music Publishing to Universal Music Group, according to Financial Times Deutschland.

Citing people familiar with the plans, the paper said the company will re-enter the business once it has sat out the time frame established as one of the conditions of that deal.

It says the appeal of music publishing to Bertelsmann managers is that it generates a more stable revenue stream than recorded music.

Its own recorded music business, a 50-50 venture with Sony, is currently under scrutiny from the European Commission, although a decision on its future is expected any day.

Bertelsmann, owner of broadcaster RTL Group and publisher Gruner + Jahr, will not be able to start operations before 2009.

According to the German FT, Bertelsmann is hoping the new business will generate about euro 150 million in annual sales within five years of its launch.