BMG Rights Management's rapid expansion continues: the Berlin-based company will launch an Australian operation in early 2011.

Tim Prescott, former CEO of Albert Music and a long-time BMG executive, is assisting BMG Rights Management with furthering their Australia and New Zealand plans, Billboard.biz can reveal.

Prescott is understood to be serving BMG in an advisory role, but declined to comment.

Sydney-based Prescott joined Albert Music as CEO in July 2007, and stepped-down from the independent music company earlier this year.

Prior to joining Alberts, Prescott served as chief marketing officer and executive VP for Sony BMG Music Entertainment in New York, and as head of BMG's Regional operations in Asia Pacific before that. He joined BMG in 1996 as managing director of the company's affiliates in Australia and New Zealand.

BMG's plans for Australasia are understood to have a strong focus on publishing and there are "several deals in the pipeline," well-placed sources say. The structure of the business remains something of a mystery. BMG Rights Management has an existing sub-publishing agreement with Mushroom Music Publishing for this part of the world.

"I see exciting opportunities for the company ahead in Australia for all forms of rights management," says an insider, who declined to be identified.

BMG Rights Management is sitting on a sizable war chest. During a press conference in August, the company revealed it would receive equity injections of €200 million ($254 million) from each of its shareholders - investment group KKR and parent company Bertelsmann - to be used for further acquisitions.

It follows significant investments this year by BMG to acquire Cross Town Songs, Cherry Lane and U.K. music publisher Stage Three Music.

The company, which was launched two years ago, has offices in Berlin, Munich, New York, L.A., Nashville, London, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Stockholm and Hilversum in Holland.