FRANKFURT Aug 23 Europe's largest media company
Bertelsmann is in talks to take full control of German
publisher Gruner + Jahr (G+J) as it seeks to step up cost-cuts
at the business, a German magazine reported.
In its online edition on Thursday, monthly Manager Magazin
cited company sources as saying Bertelsmann Chief Executive
Thomas Rabe offered the Jahr family a stake in Bertelsmann in
return for the family's 25.1 percent in Gruner + Jahr.
A spokesman for Bertelsmann, which also owns broadcaster RTL
, confirmed there were negotiations but declined to
"Bertelsmann and the Jahr Holding in their capacity as
Gruner + Jahr shareholders are currently in talks about the
situation and future positioning of the publishing house," he
According to the magazine, the Jahrs want a stake of at
least 5 percent in Bertelsmann, which is owned by the Mohn
family, and an agreement could be reached by end-October.
It also said that Bertelsmann - which wants to expand into
digital media ventures abroad but is being held back by its weak
equity capital position - is looking for co-investors for some
of its divisions such as Random House.
Bertelsmann could try to attract Penguin Books, owned by
Pearson, or Harper Collins as co-owners for the book
publishing unit, the magazine said.
In March, Bertelsmann gave up its resistance to the idea of
going public as part of broader plans to lure fresh investors
prepared to fund growth while allowing the Mohn family to retain
their grip over the group.