Time, Inc., Sells its Interest in Bookspan to Bertelsmann


Bertelsmann AG, the German media conglomerate that owns Random House, Inc., announced today that it has bought out Time, Inc.'s interest in Bookspan, their book-club joint venture that includes Book-of-the-Month Club. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the deal, worth aproximately $150 million, will leave Bertelsmann as the only major operator of book, music, and DVD clubs in the United States. Time, Inc., is the magazine publishing unit of Time Warner, Inc., the media and entertainment company that last year sold its book publishing arm to the French conglomerate Lagardère SCA.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Book-of-the-Month Club, which was founded in 1926 and sold 200 million books in its first four decades, will likely be folded into BMG Columbia House, a unit of Bertelsmann's DirectGroup.