Germany's Media-Saturn Group, which operates European consumer electronics retail chains Media Markt and Saturn, has acquired a controlling interest in digital distribution provider 24-7 Entertainment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The digital company, which has offices in the U.K., Spain, Germany and Denmark, was founded in 2000. It powers 41 download stores in 13 countries and has license agreements with more than 12,000 record labels including all the majors, specializing in online and mobile distribution of music, music video and ringtones. Clients among telcos and retailers include 3 Hutchison and Denmark's TDC; 24-7 also works with hardware and software manufacturers, record labels and media companies.

"There are a couple of innovative things we have developed, including the TDC Play model, it's one of the most successful unlimited subscription services," London-based CEO Frank Taubert tells Billboard.biz, adding that 24-7 Entertainment "distributed 93 million tracks throughout Europe last year."

Media Markt and Saturn already had a relationship with 24/7 Entertainment, which powers the retail chains' download stores. Based in Ingolstadt, the Media-Saturn Group has 768 stores in 16 European countries and claims to be the biggest consumer electronics retailer in Germany and Europe.

The deal will allow 24-7 Entertainment to remain under the management of its founders, Taubert and Carl Nielsen, and operate as an independent business unit within the Media-Saturn Holding Group.

It will also enable the company to expand. Taubert says the company has grown revenues at around 60% a year.

"We have a very strong over-proportionate growth to the market," he says. "We've grown the company internationally since 2004. This will give us substantial financial backing to grow the company globally."

Taubert adds that the deal will "give us a lot of access to consumer electronics manufacturers" as 24-7 Entertainment looks to explore more opportunities for music services in the home.

"There is a big need for creating a convergence experience for all mobile, online and home entertainment services," he says. "I think this [deal] will enable us to be taken quite seriously as a digital platform for these integrated services."

The company has 53 employees and Taubert says it became profitable in Q4 in 2008.

"Music and entertainment content plays a major role in our success," said Roland Weise, CEO of Media-Saturn Holding, in a statement. "Our share-holding is intended to help grow 24-7's digital footprint, open up new areas of business and at the same time allow us to profit from the company's competence and know-how with regard to the further development and implementation of the Media-Saturn Group's e-commerce strategy in this area."