Bertelsmann plans DirectGroup France sale: report

PARIS (Reuters) - German media group Bertelsmann BERT.UL is drawing up plans to sell its DirectGroup France division for an amount that could exceed 300 million euros ($470 million), French newspaper Le Figaro said on Monday.

A spokesperson for Bertelsmann in Germany said that no decision had yet been taken concerning the sale of the European activities of Direct Group. “The news over the timing and the price are pure speculation,” he added.

French business daily Les Echos said the sale process could begin in the middle of September.

According to Le Figaro, Bertelsmann appointed Morgan Stanley to oversee the sale of the unit, which includes book chain France Loisirs, though the paper said the German group had denied this.

Among potential buyers for Direct Group France, Les Echos named Amazon AMZN.O, Grupa Platena and investment funds.

In June, Bertelsmann announced a strategic review of the whole of its Direct Group division which has an annual turnover of 2.7 billion euros.