Bertelsmann buys Britney label for $3bn

A better bet than Napster?...

A better bet than Napster?...

Media giant Bertelsmann has splashed out $3bn to acquire music company Zomba, home of popstar and teen idol Britney Spears. Bertelsmann already had a 25 per cent stake in Zomba's publishing division and a 20 per cent share of its record division. The media company's music business, BMG, has now acquired the outstanding shares for $3bn. The figure is based on a multiple of somewhere between eight and 12 times Zomba's profits for the period between 1999 and 2001. However, the move has sparked suggestions that Bertelsmann, headed-up by Thomas Middelhoff, will now be restricted from making further aquisitions. There are also concerns that Zomba, which was founded my music producer Clive Calder, might have reached its peak with acts such as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync not as popular as they once were. Bertelsmann got little return on its investment in Napster in 2000. The high-profile file-swapping website last week filed for bankruptcy protection.