Bertelsmann to carve up Direct-Group unit - paper

Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:10pm BST

FRANKFURT Aug 28 (Reuters) - German media group Bertelsmann [BERT.UL] plans to carve up its Direct-Group unit, Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing management sources.

Bertelsmann bosses will discuss the new structure of the division, which includes the group's book club businesses and generates annual sales of some 2.7 billion euros ($3.7 billion), at a meeting on Wednesday, the paper said.

The supervisory board will then meet on Friday, it added.

A spokesman for Bertelsmann declined to comment on Tuesday.

Bertelsmann plans to present a new strategy for the whole company in mid-December, the paper said, when the group's top managers will gather for a two-day meeting in Berlin.

Direct-Group unit head Ewald Walgenbach said last week he will leave the conglomerate by the end of the year to join private equity firm BC Partners.

Walgenbach had been in the running for the top spot at Bertelsmann but lost out to Hartmut Ostrowski, who will succeed Chief Executive Gunter Thielen in January.

There has been speculation in the market recently that Bertelsmann may be up for restructuring once the new CEO takes over.

(Additional reporting by Anika Lehmann)

((Writing by James Regan, editing by David Holmes; james.regan@reuters.com, Reuters Messaging: james.regan.reuters.com@reuters.net, +49 69 7565 1263))

($1=.7315 Euro) Keywords: BERTELSMANN DIRECTGROUP/

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