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RCA, West German Company Complete Music Merger

August 8, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ RCA Corp. and Bertelsmann AG, the West German publishing giant, said Thursday they completed the merger of their worldwide recorded music, music publishing and music video operations.

The newly merged business is called RCA-Ariola International. Ariola is Bertelsmann’s record label in much of the world, although its primary label in the United States is Arista Records, said RCA-Ariola spokesman Robbin Ahrold.

Terms of the merger were not disclosed, although RCA said it owns 75 percent of the new company and Berteslmann 25 percent.

Ahrold declined to estimate the annual sales of the new company, noting that RCA itself never breaks out the financial results of its recorded music operations.

However, RCA does list the combined results of its music and video operations, and in 1984 their sales totaled $621.8 million. The total revenue of RCA, a broadcasting, entertainment and technology company, was $10.1 billion last year.

Bertelsmann is one of the world’s leading publishing companies, and its U.S. operations include Bantam Books. It also publishes Parents and Young Miss magazines.

Fortune magazine recently placed Bertelsmann as No. 202 on its international list of the world’s 500 largest industrial concerns, with revenue totaling $2.5 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1984.