German media group Bertelsmann wants to become a major player in the music business once again, according to a report in Hamburg's Manager Magazin.

U.S. private equity firm KKR and several banks are said to be ready to act as co-investors for a plan by Bertelsmann and its BMG Rights Management arm to acquire the master recordings archive of EMI Music in London (described as "one of several" targets in the report), though a representative for EMI says no deal is in the works.

"There are no plans for EMI to sell either our recorded music or our music publishing catalogue," a representative from EMI told Billboard.biz. "Bertelsmann has not approached EMI or Terra Firma and there has been absolutely no discussion. EMI is focused on its growth strategy."

KKR has declared its readiness to contribute $200 million, according to the report, while negotiations are underway with several banks for a further $300 to $500 million of financing. Bertelsmann has not commented.

Berlin-based BMG Rights Management began operations in January 2009 after the conglomerate sold its 50% stake in the Sony BMG joint venture to Sony Corp in October last year.

The company exploits and markets music rights from European acts across the continent. It launched with a repertoire of only 8,000 tracks from about 200 artists cherry-picked from the Sony BMG catalog. It has recently signed service agreements with ole and Religion Music.