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Bertelsmann may unload U.S. assets

German media co. mulls RTL stake, thinking TV

German media giant Bertelsmann may look to sell its U.S. book and music clubs as it narrows its focus on TV.

Company is considering the purchase of the 10.2% stake in pan-European RTL Group that it doesn’t already own for an estimated $1.5 billion.

To that end, Bertelsmann may sell Direct North America unit, a part of its direct-to-customer business division Direct Group, according to the Financial Times Deutschland.

The group may also carve out some book clubs in other countries, although it plans to keep the German business, the Financial Times Deutschland said.

Chief exec designate Hartmut Ostrowski is expected to unveil the company’s strategy Thursday, according to the report.

Bertelsmann is in the process of splitting Direct Group into two regions, North America and Europe/Asia.

While Bertelsmann retains direct control over its European and Asian club businesses, Direct North America will be overseen by Random House.

Stateside unit includes Columbia House and book club company Bookspan.

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