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Bertie buys the rerst of BMG from KKR

A NOTE FROM HARTWIG: Late last night, BMG-signed writers found a message from Hartwig Masuch in their mailboxes. “I would like to share some information with you before it hits the news,” it began. “I am delighted to confirm that, as of today, Bertelsmann has decided to take over BMG as a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of the group, marking the culmination of an extraordinary journey which we started just over four years ago. The deal is still pending regulatory approval, but no objections are expected. This change in shareholder structure will not affect our daily work or our contracts with you, but we expect it to open up new opportunities with other Bertelsmann companies. Being one of the biggest media companies in the world, Bertelsmann has always believed that in a converged multimedia world, music is an essential business to be in.” After giving a thumbnail history of Bertelsmann’s more than half century association with music through the company’s exit from the business in 2008, Masuch describes the thinking behind the subsequent formation of BMG Rights Management. It was based, he writes, “on our shared understanding that in a digital world, the creative community would need different service solutions, based on anticipating individual needs and offering fair and transparent terms. The partnership with KKR, now ending, proved to be a fertile one, and the right decision by Bertelsmann since BMG’s fast growth would not have been possible without the support, financial strength, network and business knowledge of the KKR team. I would like to express my personal gratitude for all they have done. We have come a long way since our formation more than four years ago and I would like to thank you for your trust in us and your support. Never hesitate to let us know where we could improve.” Attached to Masuch’s email was the official announcement of the acquisition. (3/1a)

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