B’mann gets BOL

Teuton giant now sole owner, strengthens Telefonica ties

BERLIN — To pave the way for a new alliance with Spanish media giant Telefonica, Germany’s Bertelsmann has bought out former partner Planeta’s 50% stake in online media shop BOL Spain, making the German group the sole owner.

Bertelsmann and Spanish publisher Planeta launched BOL Spain last September as a joint venture, offering some 125,000 titles. It is one of about a dozen online branches of Bertelsmann’s BOL Internet shop, already operating in 13 European and Asian countries, with new shops coming online in Italy and Japan this year.

The takeover of Planeta’s stake in BOL Spain makes it possible for Bertelsmann and Telefonica to establish a new and improved joint BOL company for the Spanish and Portuguese language markets in Europe and Latin America.

Bertelsmann will hold a 75% stake while Telefonica-affiliate Terra-Lycos will control up to 25% in the company.

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