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Bertelsmann AG buys Book-of-the-Month Club interest from Time Inc.

UPI News Service, 04/10/2007 

Germany's Bertelsmann AG said Tuesday it bought Time Inc.'s interest in Bookspan, their joint venture that includes the Book-of-the-Month Club.

Bertelsmann's DirectGroup subsidiary paid about $150 million for Time's 50 percent share, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The deal makes Bertelsmann the only major U.S. operator of book, music and DVD clubs. Bertelsmann bought the Columbia House music and DVD clubs for about $400 million in 2005.

Bookspan will be integrated into BMG Columbia House, the largest U.S. direct-to-consumer distributor of music and movies. BMG Columbia House Chief Executive Stuart Goldfarb will lead the combined entity, Bertelsmann said.

Bookspan -- with 32 book clubs, including the Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild and One Spirit -- is the largest direct marketer of book club memberships in North America, with more than 7.9 million members and annual direct mailings of more than 270 million pieces.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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