And another one bites the dust!

Gunter Thielen, the new broom at Bertelsmann, has axed another ambitious project of deposed head honcho Thomas Middelhoff.

The latest casualty is Middelhoff’s planned €multi-million international advertising campaign aimed at influencing the world investment community in the run-up to the group’s intended IPO by 2005. The decision will undoubtedly cause breast-beating at Hamburg shop Springer & Jacoby, slated by Middlehoff to handle the business.

An IPO now seems increasingly unlikely – not just as a result of the ad campaign’s demise – but because of Theilen’s stated policy to cede greater autonomy to the group’s diverse operating units. This would not please the money-men for whom tight centralized control is a security blanket.

On a different front, Bertelsmann-owned RTL Group, Europe’s largest commercial broadcaster is expected to announce today (Tuesday) the acquisition of a 47.3% stake in German news channel N-TV from publisher Holtzbrinck. The deal, which also includes minority holdings in twelve radio stations in (mainly eastern) Germany, is valued between €170 million ($166.01m; £108.82m) to €180m.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff