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.


Bertelsmann  to Buy Columbia House
Matthew Karnitschnig
The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2005; Page B1,,SB111568329787328746,00.html

Bertelsmann buys CD seller Columbia House
Reuters, Tue May 10, 2005 05:46 AM ET

Bertelsmann’s BMG Confirms Columbia House Takeover
May 10, 2005 5:10 a.m.,,BT_CO_20050510_001097,00.html

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