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Bertelsmann In Search For Potential Takeover Candidates

[Berlin] German media giant Bertelsmann AG has reported a revenue increase of 23 percent to 32 billion Marks (US $15.3 billion) in the current fiscal year. For the previous year, the company registered 26 billion Marks (US $12.5 billion). In real terms, the revenue increase totals around ten percent or three billion Marks (US $1.5 billion).

A big part of this growth results from the full integration of the television and radio holding CLT-UFA. Bertelsmann emphasized that they had made no big acquisitions during the last fiscal year. The complete proceeds from the sale of their stake in AOL Europe, approximately 15 billion Marks (US $7.2 billion), are still at the company's "full disposal for future strategic investments". "We will use this money carefully," a company press speaker commented yesterday.

Through the amalgamation of the media and communication sectors, the competition has become more intense. Recently, the media group announced that they intended to make a big takeover in the Internet sector. No comment was made as to the selection of a possible takeover candidate, however, not many candidates remain in the running.

The entire music and literature content will be digitalized in order to sell it over the Internet. In addition, online retailing will become a focus point for development. The next expansion goals are said to lie in the direction of the Asian markets and with the extension of the newspaper sector in the U.S. According to company sources, Bertelsmann ranks third in the list of media companies with the highest turnover, coming behind AOL Time Warner and CBS Viacom. In forth place is Disney.

Approximately 73,000 employees in more than 300 separate companies in 54 countries work for the company.