Bertelsmann hastens Sony BMG sale

Co. looks to bank up to $1.5 billion for stake

Bertelsmann has reportedly fast-tracked the sale of its 50% stake in Sony BMG, and a decision on the sale to Sony Corp. is expected by the end of the month. Bertelsmann execs have been focusing on the Sony BMG sale since Friday, according to local press reports. Sony is also expected to decide in the coming days on a possible purchase of the share.

Bertelsmann is said to be looking to bank up to $1.5 billion for the stake, or less if Sony agrees to buy services from Bertelsmann services division Arvato, which manufactures and distributes CDs.

The conglom’s efforts to pull out of the joint venture comes amid ongoing litigation over the 2004 merger.

Last week, the European Union’s highest court ruled that a lower court made several errors when it overturned regulatory approval for Sony and Bertelsmann to combine their music units to form the world’s second-largest record label, boasting a repertoire that includes the likes of Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Shakira and Avril Lavigne.

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