German media giant Bertelsmann is shopping for joint venture partners in Europe to expand its TV interests outside of Germany, Manfred Lahnstein, chief of the company’s electronic media division, revealed.

Details of Bertelsmann’s intentions are being played close to the vest, but as Lahnstein understated, “We’re now big enough to become more international.”

The move is in keeping with recent initiatives by other key European TV players to extend their creative relationships and financial investments across national borders rather than limiting their activities to a single territory or language region.

Corporate restructuring

The move also follows a recent restructuring of the conglomerate’s corporate structure, designed to streamline decisionmaking within each of its four divisions — one of which is entertainment.

Lahnstein did say that the biggest European TV markets were being scrutinized for potential partners for a joint venture targeted for mid-1994. He also said that such an undertaking must allow the company to exploit Ufa-Bertelsmann’s production capacities.

Lahnstein also implied that the company may be interested in establishing a second pay TV channel in Germany. Bertelsmann already holds 37.5% of the country’s only feevee web, Premiere. Bertelsmann also holds stakes in German broadcasters RTL Plus, RTL 2 and Vox.

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