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KKR sells BMG stake to Bertelsmann

1 Mar 2013

exit 15_sqPrivate equity firm KKR has sold its stake in music rights manager BMG – which manages rights for artists such as ZZ Top, Aerosmith and Billy Idol – to joint venture partner Bertelsmann.

According to Bartelsmann, the sale of KKR’s 51 per cent shareholding is expected to be completed in the first half of the year.

The parties did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Johannes Huth, head of KKR Europe, said, “Our innovative partnership with Bertelsmann, which combined the professional expertise of a global media company with the financial strength, network and business-building expertise of KKR, was a complete success.

“We explored new business approaches with Bertelsmann; BMG did pioneering work in the music rights market with its digital, service-focused business approach.

“The model of a ‘growth and build’ partnership between a corporate group and KKR is bound to be seen more often in the future.”

KKR and Bertelsmann, a German media group, were given the go-ahead to form the music rights joint venture in September 2009 by the European Commission.

The two businesses decided to join forces in July that year, with Bertelsmann contributing its BMG Rights Management music rights unit to the venture and owning 49 per cent of the JV and KKR holding the remaining 51 per cent.

KKR had $75.5bn of assets under management at the end of 2012.

Last month KKR and peer Permira decided to sell an 18 per cent stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media for €485m ($647m).

The firm has also put forward a $3.68bn bid for troubled industrial equipment maker Gardner Denver.

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