KKR-Bertelsmann venture buys Stage Three Music

Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:00am EDT

* Includes rights to well-known hits

* Acquiring company from Apax, Ingenious Ventures

By Megan Davies

NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - A private equity based music joint venture formed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co KKR.AS(KKR.N) and Bertelsmann [BERT.UL] is to buy music publisher Stage Three Music, adding the rights to songs such as Aerosmith's "Walk this Way", the companies said on Thursday.

BMG Rights Management, was formed a year ago between private equity firm KKR and media group Bertelsmann, tapping into investors' attraction to catalogs of published songs that provide steady, recurring cash flows. [ID:nN15207106]

Under Thursday's deal, the venture is buying Stage Three Music from the company's shareholders, private equity firm Apax Partners [APAX.UL], venture capital fund Ingenious Ventures and management, the companies said.

London-based Stage Three Music was founded in 2003 and also has rights to ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'", the companies said.

The size of the transaction was not disclosed.

Stage Three is BMG Rights Management's third significant investment and follows deals to buy Cherry Lane and the Adage IV catalogue, the companies said in the press release. (Editing by Valerie Lee) ((megan.davies@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6112; Reuters Messaging: megan.davies.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) ((For more M&A news and our DealZone blog, go to www.reuters.com/deals))

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