Bertelsmann to Acquire Columbia House

Funny, for a business that many people think is dead, we see both an IPO and a Merger in the same week !

AP is reporting that German media company Bertelsmann AG will buy the New York-based DVD and music club Columbia House.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A spokesman for Bertelsmann, however, didn’t provide details of the deal nor did he confirm the price tag for Columbia House, which The WSJ pegs at about $400 million. Blackstone Group (BGP.XX) bought a majority holding (85%) in Columbia House in 2002.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, Bertelsmann foresees combining Columbia House with Bertelsmann’s own U.S.-based music-club division BMG Direct to create a business with about $1.5 billion in annual revenue.

The acquisition comes a month after Bertelsmann, which has earmarked up to 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) for purchases until the end of 2006, bought French bookstore chain Privat in another deal to strengthen DirectGroup.

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Sources:
Bertelsmann  to Buy Columbia House
Matthew Karnitschnig
The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005; Page B1
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111568329787328746,00.html

Bertelsmann buys CD seller Columbia House
Reuters, Tue May 10, 2005 05:46 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=8438315

Bertelsmann’s BMG Confirms Columbia House Takeover
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
May 10, 2005 5:10 a.m.
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,BT_CO_20050510_001097,00.html

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