Finsbury to advise on Bertelsmann Sony deal

German entertainment group Bertelsmann has brought in Finsbury for financial PR advice on the planned merger of its music business with Japanese rival Sony.

Finsbury founder Rupert Younger is advising the Bertelsmann group on strategic comms, media relations and analyst feedback on the deal.

Although Finsbury has worked for Bertelsmann subsidiary RTL, this is the first time that the firm has worked for the parent company.

Younger reports to Bertlesmann group director of corporate communications Bernd Bauer.

Last November Bertelsmann and Sony announced that they would merge their respective music businesses BMG and Sony Music Entertainment, into a new entity to be called Sony BMG. BMG and Sony Music Entertainment are the world’s fifth and second largest music companies respectively.

The deal will bring together BMG’s roster of performers, which include Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavine with Sony’s major acts, which include the Dixie Chicks and Aerosmith.

Both Sony and Bertlesmann will retain a 50 per cent stake each in BMG. However, the proposed deal excludes both companies music publishing, distribution and manufacturing businesses as well as Sony’s recorded music business in Japan.

The size of the deal and the likely dominance of Sony BMG of the international recording market means that the transaction is subject to approval of European Union and US regulators.

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