Sony buys out Bertelsmann’s 50% label stake


Sony is going to become the 100% owner of what has been known as Sony BMG, buying the 50% of the record company owned by Bertelsmann AG. The record company will be renamed Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (SMEI) and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. Sony and Bertelsmann AG originally created the Sony BMG joint venture in August 2004.

"Music has been a vital and vibrant part of Sony’s culture for over 20 years. This acquisition will allow us to achieve a deeper and more robust integration between the wide-ranging global assets of the music company and Sony’s products, operating companies and affiliates. It enables us to offer a total entertainment experience to consumers," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation.

"After a careful and thorough review, we made the strategic decision to sell our investment in this joint venture to Sony, a step that we believe will benefit the stakeholders of both our companies. This move is consistent with our new growth strategy and will enable us to focus on our defined growth areas,” said Hartmut Ostrowski, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann AG.

Once the transaction is completed, the SMEI record labels will include: Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records, and Zomba. Key recording artists will include Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Jay Chou.