Audible Gets $6 M Investment From Bertelsmann, Apax; Microsoft Offloads Some Equity


Audible (OTC BB: ADBL), the spoken audio download firm, has received $6 million investment from media giant Bertelsmann and private equity firm Apax Partners. In conjunction with this investment, Apax Partners has acquired from Microsoft the preferred stock equity which the software giant held. MSFT will retain its common stock position in Audible after the sale. Microsoft made an investment in Audible in 1999, paying about $10 million for the shares. The company declined to give the amount that Apax paid for Microsoft’s preferred shares.

The money will help Audible improve its balance sheet and expand, particularly in overseas markets. With its $2 million investment, Bertelsmann has agreed to help market Audible globally.

Audible has an already existing relationship with Bertelsmann’s company Random House, but will extend this relationship to work with DirectGroup Bertelsmann, one of the biggest book and music club organization.

More details in Audible’s Q2 conference call, to be held tomorrow at 5 PM EST.

The company has more than 250,000 customers, who either paid for content à la carte or on a monthly basis of $14.95 or $19.95 for books and magazines they could listen to on their computers or download to digital devices like MP3 players.

(Audible has also re-designed its website and it looks much better.)


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