Bertelsmann eyes sale of books business: paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European media group Bertelsmann BERT.UL may sell its book, DVD and music clubs to focus on faster growing markets, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing sources familiar the business.

Falling profits and the possibility of having to write down the value of recent U.S. acquisitions had led to debate about a sale of part of the group’s Direct Group’s business, the paper said, citing three people familiar with the business.

The division, which generates annual sales of about 2.7 billion Euros ($3.9 billion), includes the group’s book business as well as its music and DVD clubs.

With the sale, Bertelsmann could finance the purchase of the rest of RTL Group Plc AUDK.LU, for which the group has earmarked 1.2 billion euros, the paper said.

Alongside the possible sale of what is now called Bertelsmann Direct North America, executives were also debating whether to sell book businesses elsewhere, the paper added.

Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Quentin Bryar