Bertelsmann confirms BMG sale to Universal


COLOGNE, Germany -- Bertelsmann AG on Friday officially confirmed the €1.63 billion ($2.1 billion) sale of its music publishing arm, BMG Music Publishing, to Vivendi's Universal Music Group.

The deal must still be approved by anti-trust authorities at the European Commission, who have until April 27 to make their ruling. (HR 12/12).

Bertelsmann will use the cash to help pay down debts accumulated from its €4.5 billion ($5.9 billion) buy back of a 25.1% stake in the company held by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert.

Earlier this year, Bertelsmann took out a €4.5 billion ($5.9 billion) bridge loan to complete the GBL deal.

In addition to the BMG Music Publishing sale, Bertelsmann has issued two benchmark Eurobonds with a combined value of €1.5 billion ($2 billion) to help finance the buyback.