Bertelsmann in control of BMG

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The Independent Online

The German media giant Bertelsmann is buying out its joint-venture partner in music-publishing company BMG, thereby giving it full control of a catalogue boasting one million songs by artists including Bruno Mars, Duran Duran and Frank Ocean.

The private-equity group KKR will receive more than £500m for its 51 per cent stake in the business, which manages a mixture of songwriters' copyright and artists' performing rights.

BMG was built up through a string of deals in the industry and includes the former Chrysalis music-publishing business.

Bertelsmann's chief executive Thomas Rabe plans an acquisition spree to make his company more international, funded by selling shares in RTL, the broadcaster whose output in Britain includes Take Me Out, Britain's Got Talent and Celebrity Juice. He is also merging his book arm, Random House, with Penguin.