Bertelsmann's BMG, KKR team up to acquire music rights

BERLIN, March 24 (Reuters) - Global music publisher BMG said on Wednesday it was teaming up with private equity house KKR to acquire music rights, following on from its recent deal to acquire the back catalogue of British rocker Mick Fleetwood.

The alliance seeks to capitalise on the boom in music streaming that has given retirement gifts to veteran singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, enabling them to sell a share of royalties to specialist investors.

“BMG and KKR can jointly pursue opportunities for acquisitions of major catalogues of music rights from now on,” Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe said in a statement.

“Together with KKR, we are ideally positioned to make attractive offers to rights owners.”

KKR has built a string of partnerships with German houses, participating in the creation of BMG in 2008 and, more recently, helping take news and classifieds publisher Axel Springer private.

The latest music rights venture will not entail any transfer or sale of BMG shares or the formation of a joint venture, the companies said. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine, editing by Emma Thomasson)