U.S. News

Bertelsmann to Buy Rest of Bookspan from Time Inc.


German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG has agreed to buy out Time Inc.'s interest in Bookspan, their book-club joint venture that includes Book-of-the-Month Club, according to a company memo seen by Reuters.

Bertelsmann plans to consolidate its North American book, music and DVD clubs following the transaction, according to the memo.

Chief Executive Markus Wilhelm, who wrote the letter, also says in it he is resigning to cut down on his travel and spend time with his family "at least for the time being."

Bertelsmann will pay about $150 million for the rest of Bookspan, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal, expected to be announced on Tuesday, would leave Bertelsmann as the only major operator of book, music and DVD clubs in the United States.

Representatives from Time Inc. and Bertelsmann were not immediately available for comment. Time Inc. is a unit of Time Warner Inc.