Bertelsmann continues to invest in its strategic growth regions of Brazil, India and China: The portfolio in the three countries, which has been increasingly concentrated on growth businesses over the past few months, will be further expanded. Besides developing existing activities, the main focus will be on investing in media content and the education sector. They recently opened the new Bertelsmann Corporate Center offices in China, from where the company’s activities in the country will be coordinated in future.
Bertelsmann has holdings in about 70 startups in the three countries through its network of funds . The Bertelsmann Asia investments (BAI) fund alone made a significant contribution to Bertelsmann’s Group net income through gains from asset sales amounting to €55 million during the first half of 2016. Beyond this, Bertelsmann has recently stepped up its investment in high-growth businesses in the three countries, including the corporate-training market leader Affero lab and the financial services provider Intervalor in Brazil, and YoBoHo, a provider of digital video content for children, in India. Also, a year after its market entry in China, the music subsidiary BMG recently expanded to Brazil. Meanwhile, the Group withdrew from structurally declining businesses such as the replication business in Brazil. Accordingly, the proportion of fast-growing businesses in Brazil, India and China has increased markedly, while the share of businesses showing little growth was significantly reduced.
Bertelsmann operates businesses in various industries in these countries and employs nearly 6,000 people there. One focus of the activities in the BIC countries is on investment in innovative startups. Since the beginning of the year, they have been pooled in the Bertelsmann Investments division. In Brazil, investments are focused in the field of higher education and online education; here, for example, Bertelsmann holds shares in Medcel, a provider of courses for medical students. Bertelsmann Asia investments (BAI) has invested in around 60 digital companies in China, including the market-leading social fashion network Meili and the leading fitness app, Keep. Since the fund’s inception, BAI has generated approximately $194 million from divestments, making a significant contribution to Group net income. In India, Bertelsmann has invested in companies including Pepperfry, the leading online marketplace for furniture, the leading streaming service Saavn, and the university services provider iNurture, thereby creating strategic options for establishing digital business models in the country.
At the same time, Bertelsmann’s divisions have successful operations in Brazil, India and China. For instance, RTL Group’s production arm Fremantle Media develops regional versions of successful formats such as “Idol” and “Got Talent” in all three countries, as well as local formats. Penguin Random House is the largest English-language trade publisher in India, and a market leader in the Latin American book market. Arvato offers international and local customers services in all three countries, e.g. in customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM). BMG and the Bertelsmann Education Group, two of the Group’s growth platforms, are successively expanding their activities in Brazil, India and China.
Source: Bertelsmann Press Release