Talks with Warner Music will take place in the coming days in New York, sources close to the matter told the business daily Handelsblatt, with one estimating the chances of success at 60 percent.
"Bertelsmann is ready to invest," boss Thomas Rabe said Tuesday, adding that the group had set aside €1 billion ($1.4 billion) to do so while remaining vague with respect to potential acquisitions.
Bertelsmann and KKR are particularly interested in rights owned by Warner Music to works by musicians like Madonna and Eric Clapton. But distribution operations could be sold on to rivals Universal or Sony, the report suggested.
Getting value from music rights is is the core activity of BMG Rights Management, a venture that is 51 percent owned by KKR and 49 percent by Bertelsmann.
Together they control the copyrights of 2,000 artists and some 300,000 songs.