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"We are strong enough to be in the front row worldwide in the most important media markets—books, newspapers, music, television and e-commerce."
—Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff
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BMG IN MARKET FOR ANOTHER LABEL

Single Professional Company Seeks Non-Smoker, Non-Drinker, Non-"Global Player" For Possible LTC

Bertelsmann, the German parent company that controls BMG, is planning to strengthen its position in the U.S. music market by buying "a label or an Internet music club" within the next few months, according to Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff.

A Bertelsmann spokesman confirmed remarks made by Middelhoff in an interview set to be published today in German weekly Stern, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Middelhoff told the magazine he expects that "in the coming months, as stock market bubbles burst, a number of sensible acquisition opportunities will arise in the United States and Germany." Middelhoff declined to name companies but said Bertelsmann is determined to become the world's No. 1 music company.

Bertelsmann's music division is currently the world's fifth-largest music label.

There have been rumors that BMG is looking to cooperate more closely or even merge with Sony's music division. But Middelhoff denied that Bertelsmann is shopping around for a corporate bedmate.

"I can't see any advantage in (Bertelsmann) merging with another global player," Middelhoff said. "We are strong enough to be in the front row worldwide in the most important media markets—books, newspapers, music, television and e-commerce."

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