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Business

Bertelsmann Plans Major Acquisitions

German media giant Bertelsmann AG said on Tuesday it had €2 billion ($2.4 billion) to spend on acquisitions in the next three years even though its 2003 profits fell, according to Bloomberg News. The Gütersloh-based company, which owns Europe's largest television broadcaster and publisher Random House Inc., said it plans purchases in all business areas this year except music. The company sold assets last year and reorganized its music unit as German advertising spending and global compact disc sales dropped. "Bertelsmann stands on a solid basis. We now want to focus on growth again," Chief Executive Officer Gunter Thielen told Bloomberg. He said net income dropped to €154 million last year from €928 million in 2002, because of the dollar's drop against the euro and fewer gains from asset sales.