Report: BMG Eyeing UK Acquisitions

LONDON (Reuters) – BMG Rights Management, the music venture owned by Bertelsmann and KKR, is eyeing a number of potential UK investment projects, the Financial Times reported.

BMG was looking at “something like 50 deals,” including two or three large acquisitions in the coming months, the company’s head, Hartwig Masuch, told the paper in an interview published on Monday.

“We’ve positioned ourselves in the U.S. and now we want to do the same kind of thing in the UK,” Masuch said.

BMG had no plans to make a bid for British music group EMI, the FT said, but Masuch signalled the music publisher could be in a position to benefit from EMI’s troubles.

“We can already see that artists are taking away their catalogues from some of the big companies,” he told the paper.

German media giant Bertelsmann AG [BERT.UL] and private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co [KKR.UL] announced the BMG Rights joint venture in July 2009, saying it would be a more efficient way of managing music rights under one roof.

KKR has committed to investing about 250 million euros in the business in which it owns a 51 percent stake. Bertelsmann owns the remaining 49 percent.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Martin Golan)