September 13, 2012 / 2:07 PM / in 6 years

Bertelsmann plans major acquisitions, partnerships

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German media firm Bertelsmann BERT.UL, struggling to keep up with fast-changing markets, plans major acquisitions and strategic partnerships to accelerate growth in coming years, to become more international and a leading digital company.

Europe’s biggest media group and owner of European TV broadcaster RTL Group AUDK.LU said it would focus on Brazil, China and India while further strengthening its position in the United States, “the world’s biggest and most innovative market”.

Chief executive Thomas Rabe said on Thursday the firm wanted to speed up growth in digital media, an area where it was growing too slowly. “We want to accelerate the pace, advance the transformation to digital more aggressively, and devote more attention to the faster-growing regions.”

“The funds needed for putting this strategy into practice will come from operations and a mix of debt and equity,” the company said.

Bertelsmann changed its legal form earlier this year from a joint stock company to one allowing it to list as a company controlled by a family holding.

Its first-half revenue rose 5 percent, mainly due to the “Fifty Shades” trilogy bestseller, with half of the 30 million copies sold as e-books.

Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Dan Lalor

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