BC Partners drops BMG bid

Bertelsmann, the listed German media group, is facing difficulties in the planned disposal of its 50% stake in its music publishing joint venture Sony BMG, according to German daily Handelsblatt. The paper claims that buyout house BC Partners has dropped out of the auction process.

Music publisher EMI has joined forces with US private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in the US$1.5bn auction for Bertelsmann’s stake in Sony BMG, and the partners have got to the second round, according to an earlier report in the Times, which did not name its sources. Vivendi and Warner Music Group are still thought to be interested.

Bertelsmann needs to raise cash to buy out its outside investor, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), a Belgian holding with a 25% stake in Bertelsmann. Apparently such a buyout would be designed to pre-empt a flotation of the GBL stake.