GUTERSLOH, Germany: Media mammoth Bertelsmann is mulling the sale of its 50% stake in music company Sony BMG, jointly-owned with the Japanese electronics giant.

Bertelsmann, which is said to seek $1.2bn-$1.5bn for its holding, is keen to exit the retail music business as web downloads steadily erode store sales. The music firm's stable of top artistes includes Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis and Avril Lavigne.

Sony has an option to buy the stake if its partner decides to go ahead with a sale.

Data sourced from Deutsche Welle (Germany); additional content by WARC staff