"We want to have it wrapped up in the first half of the calendar year ," said Bertelsmann chairman and chief executive officer, Thomas Middelhoff.
Bertelsmann agreed last year to sell its interest in AOL Europe to the online service's US affiliate America Online, now a unit of AOL Time Warner, with the understanding that the deal would not be completed until after 1 January 2002.
As of the end of June, Bertelsmann had collected £1.75bn in cash and shares out of a total sale price of £4.75bn, chief financial officer, Siegfried Luther, said.
Bertelsmann said it is shifting the focus of its Internet activities from access to content. This change of direction is marked also by the sale of Internet service provider mediaWays to Spain's Telefónica.
Middelhoff said that the company acted quickly to unload Net-related holdings, with the result that its non-core Internet businesses declined in value by 14%, between September 2000 and September 2001, while the NASDAQ index of technology stocks dropped 55% during the same period.