Bertelsmann To Buy Out KKR?

Having announced it will sell about 20 percent of its stake in broadcasting subsidiary RTL and failed in its bid to buy EMI’s Parlophone label, there’s now increased speculation that it’s planning to buy out its music business partner KKR.

Although the partnership between the German media giant and the U.S.-based global equity firm has apparently run successfully for over three years, recent reports suggest they’ve become at loggerheads over their joint-venture’s future direction.

Three months ago the New York Post reckoned the main bone of contention was how far the partnership should go to buy Parlophone, and said Bertelsmann would be prepared to go further.

If it was the main bone of contention, then Bertelsmann may have decided it’s best it moves forward on its two feet.

Having already lost out to Len Blavatnik in the auction for Warner, BMG Rights Management has now lost out to the company it tried and failed to buy.

Now the Financial Times is also saying that watching Parlophone slip through the net is likely to make Bertelsmann even more inclined to raise its 49 percent stake in BMG by buying out KKR’s 51 percent.

Bertelsmann showed an intention to sell stakes in order to fund ‘major’ media, education and music business acquisitions as far back as September last year.