BMG Picks Up Bug

BMG Rights Management has further expanded its publishing business by paying a reported $325 million for L.A.-based Bug Music.

BMG, a joint venture between German media giant Bertelsmann and U.S. private equity group KKR, beat rival bidders including “Pop Idol” creator Simon Fuller for the independent music publisher.

Bug’s catalogue includes works by Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, and more contemporary songs by acts including Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams and The National.

Last year Bug, which was owned by Spectrum Equity, engaged investment banker JPMorgan Chase to conduct an auction of the business. Bug scrapped the plan after receiving disappointing bids of less than $250 million.

BMG has been on an aggressive acquisition streak over the last 18 months, snapping up Cherry Lane Publishing, which holds rights to Elvis Presley and John Denver songs, and Evergreen Copyright Acquisitions.