Germany's BOL furthers global expansion plans

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BAAR, SWITZERLAND--Bertelsmann-owned Internet bookshop BOL International has announced a series of expansion moves as it gears up for its June public offering.

In Asia, BOL has acquired three Internet bookshop outfits in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore offering more than 1.5 million English-language titles.

In Europe, BOL has bought Internet bookshop BOKUS, which operates in Scandinavia with an annual turnover of $14 million.

In Italy, BOL has signed a cooperation agreement with publishing house Mondadori, Milan, to set up a joint venture in Italy.

Launched in 1999, BOL is present in 13 countries worldwide with 550,000 registered users. In addition to books, BOL is starting to offer CDs, videos, DVDs, computer software and games.

BOL's advertising is handled by M&C Saatchi.

Copyright April 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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