Bertelsmann is a German multinational corporation based in Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is one of the world's largest mass media companies and also active in the service sector and education. Bertelsmann was founded as a publishing house by Carl Bertelsmann in 1835. After World War II, Bertelsmann, under the leadership of Reinhard Mohn, went from being a medium-sized enterprise to a major conglomerate, offering not only books but also television, radio, music, magazines and business services. Bertelsmann is an unlisted and capital market-oriented company, which remains primarily controlled by the Mohn family. Since 2016, major divisions of Bertelsmann are RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, BMG, Arvato, Bertelsmann Printing Group, Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments.
|Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA|
Bertelsmann headquarters in Gütersloh
|Private (SE & Co. KGaA)|
|Founded||1 July 1835|
(Chairman and CEO)
(Chairman of the Supervisory board)
|Products||Publishing, Record label, Broadcasting, Cable television, Movie production|
|Revenue||€17.190 billion (2017)|
|€1.198 billion (2017)|
|Total assets||€23.705 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||€9.119 billion (2017)|
|Owner||Bertelsmann Stiftung and others|
Number of employees
|Divisions||RTL Group (75.1%)|
Penguin Random House (75%)
Gruner + Jahr
Bertelsmann Printing Group
Bertelsmann Education Group
|Footnotes / references|
Annual Report 2017
The nucleus of the corporation is the C. Bertelsmann Verlag, a publishing house established in 1835 by Carl Bertelsmann in Gütersloh. Carl Bertelsmann was a representative of the "Minden-Ravensberger Erweckungsbewegung", a Protestant revival movement, whose writings he published. The C. Bertelsmann Verlag, originally specialized in theological literature, expanded its publications to include school and textbooks, and in the 1920s and 1930s increasingly entered into the field of light fiction.
During the Third Reich, the publishing house gained a prominent position with its affordable "Bertelsmann Volksausgaben" ("people's editions"). In particular, war adventure books such as Werner von Langsdorff's "Fliegerbuch" on aviation were a commercial success. Heinrich Mohn belonged to the patrons' circle of the paramilitary Schutzstaffel organization and sought to turn his company into a National Socialist model enterprise. During World War II, the C. Bertelsmann Verlag became a leading supplier to the Wehrmacht, even surpassing the central publishing house of the NSDAP Franz Eher. Especially in the years between 1939 and 1941, the revenues of the C. Bertelsmann Verlag skyrocketed. Jewish slave laborers were not forced to work in Gütersloh, but in printing plants in Lithuania with which the C. Bertelsmann Verlag cooperated. In 1944, the Reichsschrifttumskammer (Reich Chamber of Literature) closed the publishing house to "mobilize all powers for victory". Another essential reason for this was criminal paper racketeering by some publisher's employees, which led to a trial in 1944.
After the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler and World War II, the company portrayed itself to the Allied Control Authority as a Christian publisher that was part of the resistance to Nazism and allegedly persecuted. Ties to National Socialist organizations were initially denied. After it became known that erroneous, or at least inadequate, statements had been made, Heinrich Mohn stepped down as the head of the publishing house. Reinhard Mohn, one of his three sons, took over the C. Bertelsmann Verlag, as Hans Heinrich Mohn had been killed in the war and Sigbert Mohn was still a prisoner of war. In 1947, the Allies finally granted the company a publishing license. After the currency reform in 1948, there was a market slump in the book trade that also led to the next existential crisis for the C. Bertelsmann Verlag. Under these conditions, in 1950 Bertelsmann launched the Lesering (book club) to stimulate sales. The customers ordered books via subscription, and in return, received discounted prices. The business increasingly shifted from the publishing house to the sale of books, which was decisive to further growth.
In 1959, the C. Bertelsmann Verlag was restructured: From that point on, theological literature was published in the Gütersloher Verlagshaus, a new publishing house which was consolidated with the Rufer Verlag. Fiction, poetry and art came under the roof of Sigbert Mohn Verlag. The C. Bertelsmann Verlag focused on nonfiction books, in particular dictionaries, guidebooks, reference books and journals. The 1950s and 1960s, Bertelsmann expanded its activities into new business areas: Thus, 1956, the company entered the music market with the Bertelsmann Schallplattenring (record club). Two years later, Ariola, one of the most successful German record labels was launched, and virtually at the same time, the Sonopress record pressing plant was established. With the Kommissionshaus Buch & Ton (book and audio commissioning company), from which the Vereinigte Verlagsauslieferung (VVA) emerged, Bertelsmann laid the cornerstone for its service business. In 1964, Bertelsmann purchased the already broken-up UFA from the Deutsche Bank and built on its presence in cinema and television. In 1969, Bertelsmann acquired shares in the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr. A merger with Axel Springer, also planned at the time, for which a loan for millions had been taken out temporarily from Westdeutsche Landesbank, failed in 1970.
Starting in 1971, Bertelsmann operated as a joint-stock company ("Aktiengesellschaft" or "AG"), becoming Bertelsmann AG. The increasingly diversifying book publishers were bundled in the Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann publishing group at the end of the 1960s. In 1972, this company moved from Gütersloh to Munich. Key divisions remained in Gütersloh, for which a new office building was built in 1976 at the Group's official location. To this day, it has remained the Bertelsmann headquarters, referred to as the Bertelsmann Corporate Center. The rapid growth of Bertelsmann led to structural and financial problems. In the 1970s, financing requirements reached their peak. From 1975 to 1980, for example, the return on sales fell below one percent. Bertelsmann also encountered new regulatory rules in its home market, in particular through laws governing mergers. Larger acquisitions became practically impossible. At the same time, there was an increasing saturation of the German market for the Bertelsmann Lesering, whereas the foreign book clubs earned the lion's share of revenues in this corporate division.
The internationalization of Bertelsmann, initiated in the 1960s, was taken further: Among other things, Bertelsmann acquired shares in the publishing houses Plaza & Janés based in Barcelona and Bantam Books from New York City. In the United States, a location was established for Ariola and Arista Records was acquired. In the period of the 1979–1980 recession, there was discussion concerning the succession of Reinhard Mohn. In 1981, he finally moved over to the supervisory board. Manfred Fischer, who had previously headed up management of Gruner + Jahr, became the new chairman and chief executive officer. With this move, Bertelsmann, for the first time, was led by a manager who was not a member of the owner family. Mark Wössner became Fischer's successor as chairman and chief executive officer of Bertelsmann in 1983. The affair concerning the forged Hitler diaries occurred at the beginning of his tenure, which damaged the reputation of Gruner + Jahr and Bertelsmann as a whole.
Mark Wössner brought the subsidiaries closer to headquarters in Gütersloh. In particular, this involved business development and controlling. Under the leadership of Mark Wössner, Bertelsmann also took a stake in RTL plus, the first private TV broadcaster in Germany. In 1986, Bertelsmann acquired a majority in RCA Records and merged its activities in the music market with the new Bertelsmann Music Group. Sonopress, a company established in 1958 to manufacture records, was not part of the Bertelsmann Music Group, rather it was assigned to the print and industrial division. With Doubleday, another well-known publishing house was acquired. As a result, the Group ascended to become a well-known international company, and Bertelsmann was temporarily the world's largest media group.
In the financial year of 1990/1991, Bertelsmann had over 45,000 employees and reached sales of 14.5 billion Deutsche Mark annually. 63% involved business outside of Germany, and the United States was the most important foreign market. After the German reunification and the end of the Cold War, Bertelsmann also expanded to East Germany, as well as into Central and Eastern Europe. For example, in 1989 the first branch outlet of the Club Bertelsmann opened in Dresden. The later development of Bertelsmann in the 1990s was marked by the spread of the Internet as a mass medium, as well as changes to the ownership structure. In 1993, Reinhard Mohn transferred the majority of capital shares to the Bertelsmann Stiftung and assumed its chairmanship. The foundation itself was financed by profits of the company.
In 1994, Gruner + Jahr acquired the magazines of The New York Times, whereby Bertelsmann was once again able to expand its presence in foreign markets. From 1995, there was a new business division of multimedia at Bertelsmann. Its centerpiece was AOL Europe, a joint venture of America Online and Bertelsmann. Prior to that, Bertelsmann had already acquired a direct share in America Online. The multimedia division also included mediaWays and Pixelpark. In 1997, UFA merged with Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT) to become a joint entertainment group based in Luxembourg. With CLT-UFA, Bertelsmann was able to decisively diversify its business. In 1998, Thomas Middelhoff succeeded Mark Wössner as Bertelsmann Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Thomas Middelhoff had previously already been a member of the management board of the multimedia division. Mark Wössner joined the supervisory board of the company and also became Chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
This management change coincided with the takeover of Random House. With this, the group advanced to become the largest publishing group in the English-speaking world. Random House was merged with Bantam Doubleday Dell, and the global headquarters of all Bertelsmann publishing houses were relocated to New York City. In 1999, Bertelsmann acquired the publisher Springer science media, which, among other things, was the market leader for mathematics and physics. In the year 2000, Bertelsmann dissolved its joint venture with AOL Europe. The sale of the shares in the joint venture to America Online yielded billions to Bertelsmann. In the same year, Bertelsmann and Pearson formed the RTL Group from their TV subsidiaries. Bertelsmann initially owned a minority in the company, and gradually built up its share. Later, Bertelsmann secured the majority of the shares in RTL through a share swap with the Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL), which as a result owned 25.1% of Bertelsmann.
Under the leadership of Thomas Middelhoff, Bertelsmann increased its involvement in the Internet, whereby above all the investment in Napster received major media attention. The aim of the acquisition, among other things, was to stem the illegal spread of copyrighted material. In 2001, the service nonetheless had to be shut down due to legal disputes. Bertelsmann faced several claims for damages by the music industry. In order to finance additional growth of Bertelsmann, Thomas Middelhoff raised the idea of going public, which led to fundamental disagreement with the Mohn family. In 2002, Gunter Thielen became the new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bertelsmann, and some members of the media viewed the change critically.
A consolidation phase followed, in order to solve the problems with the core business. For example, Bertelsmann sold unprofitable e-commerce firms like the online shop of Barnes & Noble, among others. Gruner + Jahr sold the Berliner Zeitung, and the scientific publisher, BertelsmannSpringer, was spun off. In the 2003 financial year, Bertelsmann announced that it was investing its music business in a joint venture with Sony. Bertelsmann and Sony each owned half the shares. With this transaction, the stakeholders sought to respond to declining sales in the music market. In addition, Gunter Thielen initiated the buyback of the shares from Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, so that the Mohn family regained complete control of Bertelsmann from 2006. This measure was also financed with the sale of the music rights business to Vivendi. During the tenure of Gunter Thielen, the number of employees at Bertelsmann exceeded 100,000 for the first time.
In 2008, Hartmut Ostrowski was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Bertelsmann sold its shares of the record label Sony BMG, and since then the company has operated under the name of Sony Music Entertainment. In 2008, Bertelsmann acquired the rights to the Brockhaus Encyclopedia, and from that time on, this reference work was published by the Wissen Media Verlag. At the end of 2011, Hartmut Ostrowski suddenly announced that he was leaving Bertelsmann for unspecified personal reasons. In 2012, Bertelsmann went from being an AG to its current incorporation as a partnership limited by shares ("Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien" or "KGaA"), with the general partner being a European stock corporation ("Societas Europaea" or "SE"). Also, since 2012, Thomas Rabe has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bertelsmann. In 2013, Bertelsmann floated part of its shares in the RTL Group on the stock exchange, in order to finance additional growth from the proceeds of the sale. In the year 2013, Penguin Random House became the world's largest publishing company. Gruner + Jahr was taken over completely by Bertelsmann in 2014. Furthermore, under the leadership of Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann increasingly invested in the education sector: In 2014, for example, Relias Learning was acquired. The company belongs to the Bertelsmann Education Group, established in 2015. In 2016, the printing business was bundled in the Bertelsmann Printing Group. The Club Bertelsmann was wound up, and individual distribution partners are taking legal action against it.
Bertelsmann is a decentralized organization. This means that the divisions largely work independently. The holding handles central tasks, in the field of corporate finance, for example. In 2016, Bertelsmann introduced a new structure of eight divisions: RTL Group (television and radio), Penguin Random House (book publishing), Gruner + Jahr (magazines), BMG (music rights), Arvato (services), Bertelsmann Education Group (education), Bertelsmann Printing Group (printing) and Bertelsmann Investments (investments).
The RTL Group is one of the leading European entertainment providers, based in Luxembourg. The company runs a commercial private television and radio channels in several countries, including RTL and VOX in Germany. In 2015, with the RTL Digital Hub, the company launched a dedicated unit for web videos. In addition, production companies, such as FremantleMedia, are part of the RTL Group. In January 1997, Bertelsmann merged the UFA film and television company with Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT). The merger of CLT-UFA with Pearson TV in the year 2000 marked the beginning of the RTL Group. The company is listed on the stock exchange and has been majority-owned by Bertelsmann since 2001. Following the sale of shares in 2013, the stake is 75.1%. In 2017, sales of the RTL Group were €6.373 billion.
Penguin Random House is the world's largest book publishing company. The company was created in 2013 through the merger of the publishing businesses of Bertelsmann and Pearson. With the acquisition of Random House in 1998, Bertelsmann already became the largest book publisher in the English-speaking world. 250 publishing houses on five continents are part of the company, including Random House and Penguin Books, but also Doubleday, Knopf and Viking. The German Verlagsgruppe Random House (Goldmann, Heyne and others), based in Munich, is not part of Penguin Random House, yet it does belong to the same division at Bertelsmann. Penguin Random House has its main headquarters in the Penguin Random House Tower in New York City. Bertelsmann currently has a 53% stake in the company. In 2017, the company achieved sales of €3.359 billion.
Gruner + Jahr is an internationally operating magazine publisher based in Hamburg. Its publications include Brigitte, Geo and Stern, and the company also has a majority stake in Motor Presse Stuttgart and Dresdner Druck- und Verlagshaus. In 2015, Gruner + Jahr had a presence in 20 countries. The businesses in the United States have been sold in the meantime, and in terms of revenue, Germany and France are the most important markets. Bertelsmann has had a stake in Gruner + Jahr since 1969. Bertelsmann gradually purchased shares from Richard Gruner, Gerd Bucerius and John Jahr. In 1976, Bertelsmann held 74.9% of Gruner + Jahr. In 2014, Bertelsmann took over the company completely. In 2017, sales of Gruner + Jahr totaled €1.513 billion.
BMG is a music publishing company based in Berlin. The BMG catalog encompasses rights to works by artists such as Céline Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Ronan Keating and Britney Spears. In 2008, the company was created after the group divested from the music market. Following the sale of Sony BMG, Bertelsmann had retained the rights to 200, mainly European, artists. In 2009, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts came on board with BMG, retaining a 51% majority in the company, and Bertelsmann held 49%. Since 2013, BMG has once again become a fully owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. In 2016, BMG became a division of Bertelsmann. In 2017, BMG had revenues of €507 million.
Arvato is an international service provider. In its current form, the company originated in the year 1999. At that time, the print and industry sectors at Bertelsmann were restructured, whereby services received a higher priority than the print and machinery sector back then. Since the 1950s, Bertelsmann has been an active service provider, delivering books for other publishing companies, for example. To this day, Vereinigte Verlagsauslieferung (VVA) has belonged to Arvato. What's more, today Arvato offers services, for example, in the areas of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and finance, as well as information technology. The main headquarters of Arvato is Gütersloh, and additional locations exist in 22 countries, including China and the United States. In 2017, sales of Arvato reached a volume of €3.823 billion.
In January 2016, Bertelsmann bundled its printing activities in digital, offset and gravure in the Bertelsmann Printing Group. It is Europe's largest player in the industry. The corporate group is located in Gütersloh. Bertelsmann Printing Group includes not only GGP Media, Mohn Media, Prinovis, Sonopress, Vogel Druck and several other companies, but also Be Printers. Be Printers is in turn a spin-off of Arvato, created in 2012, in order to consolidate the group's printing business. The business has been under pressure for years due to declining print editions. In 2017, the Bertelsmann Printing Group achieved sales of €1.681 billion.
The Bertelsmann Education Group is dedicated to the education sector. It was established in 2015 and has its headquarters in New York City. It includes, for example, the Alliant International University and Relias Learning. The acquisition of Relias Learning in 2014 formed the cornerstone for the Bertelsmann Education Group and was the largest acquisition by Bertelsmann since the purchase of Random House. In 2017, the Bertelsmann Education Group generated sales of €189 million.
The Bertelsmann Investments division bundles Bertelsmann's startup investments. The main focus is on Brazil, China, India, Europe and the United States. Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments is based in Gütersloh and since 2014 has concentrated mainly on the United States. With Bertelsmann Asia Investments, Bertelsmann Brazil Investments and Bertelsmann India Investments, three additional funds exist that are active in the growth regions defined by the holding. Bertelsmann Investments holds equity positions in a total of over 100 startup companies, almost all from the digital economy.
From 1971 to 2012, Bertelsmann was a joint stock company under German law (Aktiengesellschaft). Subsequently, the company was transformed into a partnership limited by shares (Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien). The general partner is a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea). Bertelsmann's rationale for this move, among others, was the aim of opening up for investors, thus enabling them to participate in the financing of additional growth. The media commented the change of the legal structure "the turn of an era", as it essentially also enables the company to go public. This move was not ultimately implemented, however. Today, Bertelsmann is a company active in capital markets, issuing bonds, for example. Since 2001, the company has prepared its financial statements according to International Financial Reporting Standards.
The new legal entity does not change any of the ownership of Bertelsmann. As early as the 1970s and 1980s, the Mohn family built up the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which has owned the majority of shares in Bertelsmann since 1993. In addition to social responsibility, tax considerations played a role in this. Moreover, this strategy was intended to preserve the continuity of the company. Today, according to Bertelsmann, the Mohn family holds 19.1% of the shares. The three foundations, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Reinhard Mohn Stiftung and BVG Stiftung, together own 80.9%. The Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (BVG) has key influence on the whole group: It bundles all the voting rights of the Mohn family and foundations with ownership shares. Together, they own 100 percent in the general assemblies of the group company (Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA) and its general partner (Bertelsmann Management SE).
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA is managed by the Bertelsmann Management SE. The Chairman of the executive board of Bertelsmann Management SE is Thomas Rabe. Other members of the executive board include Markus Dohle, Immanuel Hermreck, Bernd Hirsch and Anke Schäferkordt. In 2012, Bertelsmann created the additional so-called Group Management Committee, in order to advise the executive board in important matters. Some members of the media noted that a relatively large number of women have been appointed to the Group Management Committee. Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA and Bertelsmann Management SE each have a supervisory board that oversees the management. In 2013, Christoph Mohn assumed the chairmanship of both bodies. From the family, Liz Mohn and Brigitte Mohn are also members of the supervisory boards of both companies.
Since the 1970s, the Bertelsmann headquarters have been in the Gütersloh district of Avenwedde, and its layout encompasses some 26,100 square meters. The office buildings were erected in 1976 and expanded in 1990. In addition to the typical facilities, the headquarters in Gütersloh also feature the Bertelsmann University, an academic institution for Bertelsmann executives. In 1992, Bertelsmann purchased the Bertelsmann Building in New York City and located its North American headquarters there. The building was re-sold in 2004. The Berlin representative office was opened in 2003 in the Kommandantenhaus in the historic center of Berlin. As part of international activities, Bertelsmann established additional locations at the corporate level (Corporate Centers) in Beijing (2006), New Delhi (2012) and São Paulo (2012).
Worldwide, with all divisions, Bertelsmann has almost 350 locations. The majority are in Europe, where the Group earns the largest share of its revenues. Over the past years, the Group has increasingly focused on the newly industrialized nations of Brazil, China and India. In Brazil, efforts have been aimed at expanding activities above all in the field of education. Bertelsmann has already been involved in China since 1992, and today all divisions are represented there. In India, Bertelsmann is focused on growth in the e-commerce sector, among others.
In the 1990s, critical questions arose as to the role of Bertelsmann in the Third Reich. It was precipitated by a speech given by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Middelhoff, on the occasion of his receiving the Vernon A. Walters Award 1998 in New York City. Thomas Middelhoff portrayed Bertelsmann as one of the few non-Jewish media companies shut down by the National Socialists because it allegedly published subversive literature. This interpretation was severely criticized, for example, by publicist Hersch Fischler. The speech led to a broad public debate and ultimately in 1998 to the establishment of an independent historical commission (IHC) by the group. This was headed by Saul Friedländer, and additional members were Norbert Frei, Trutz Rendtorff and Reinhard Wittmann. The IHC presented an interim report in the year 2000 and issued a final report in 2002. It stated, for example, that the suggestion that the C. Bertelsmann Verlag mounted resistance against National Socialism was clearly not accurate. The company's "shut-down as a publisher of the resistance" could not be proven. Historian Volker Ullrich proclaimed in the weekly Die Zeit that the notion of the company's being "a resistance publisher" was clearly baseless. The files of the IHC have been publicly available in the company archives of Bertelsmann in Gütersloh since 2003. In October 2002 the Bertelsmann conglomerate publicly expressed regret for its "conduct under the Nazis, and for later efforts to cover it up".
1540 Broadway (known as the Bertelsmann Building until late 2013) is a 44-story, 733 foot (223 m) office tower at West 45th Street in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City. The building was the North American headquarters of media conglomerate Bertelsmann from 1992 until the company vacated and sold the property, of which they occupied all office-use floors, in 2004. The building housed US satellites of central functions such as Corporate Development, Corporate Communications and the Office of the Chairman and CEO, as well as serving as worldwide headquarters for the Bertelsmann Music Group and Bertelsmann Book Group (what has later taken on the umbrella brand name Random House). Current office tenants include Viacom, China Central Television, KEMP Technologies, Adobe Systems and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Retail tenants are Planet Hollywood, MAC Cosmetics, Disney Store, and Forever 21.Started in 1989 and finished in 1990, the tower is one of the few in Times Square to contain class A office space.In the 1990s, Random House looked to build a skyscraper across 45th Street from its parent and be connected to it via a neon-lighted bridge across 45th Street. When the deal fell through, it built the Random House Tower 10 blocks uptown.
The building's location was formerly the site of Loew's State Theatre (1921) and Bartholdi Inn (1899), then New York’s best-known theatrical boarding house.Arvato
Arvato is a global services company headquartered in Gütersloh, Germany. Its services include customer support, information technology, logistics, and finance. The history of Arvato goes back to the printing and industry services division of Bertelsmann; the current name was introduced in 1999. Today, Arvato is one of eight divisions of Bertelsmann, the media, services and education group. In 2016, Arvato had about 68,463 employees and an overall turnover of 3.84 billion euros.Arvato Entertainment
Arvato Entertainment, formerly Sonopress, is the CD and DVD replication business of Bertelsmann. Founded in 1958 to supply gramophone record for Bertelsmann's music club and music label businesses, Sonopress became the world's second biggest replicator of optical discs (CDs and DVDs). Much of that growth was overseen by long term CEO Uwe Swientek, who was at the company's helm for almost 30 years. Sonopress has factories and sales offices on all five continents, and predominantly serves customers in the music, software, and games industries.
It was one of the four major units of Arvato AG, the media and communications services company that in turn is one of the six divisions of Bertelsmann. Accordingly, Sonopress was occasionally also referred to as Arvato Storage Media, or, following a recent re-organization, Arvato Digital Services. In 2008, to celebrate 50 years in the business, the name Sonopress was dropped and replaced by Arvato Digital Services.In Jan 7, 2013, Arvato Digital Services North America spun off the replication business into arvato entertainment llcIn 2015, Arvato Entertainment was re-organized and is now doing business under its former name (i.e. Sonopress) within the Bertelsmann Printing Group divisionBMG Rights Management
BMG Rights Management (BMG) is an international music company based in Berlin, Germany. It combines the activities of a music publisher and a record label.BMG was founded in October 2008 after Bertelsmann sold its stake in Sony BMG. From 2009 to 2013, the investment firm KKR held 51% of the company, which became one of the world's largest music publishers during that time. BMG is 100% owned by Bertelsmann and one of the group's eight business divisions. The portfolio includes rights in songs and recordings by artists such as Kylie Minogue, Avril Lavigne, The Rolling Stones, Jason Aldean, David Bowie, Chrissie Hynde, Nena, Roger Waters, Iggy Pop, Quincy Jones and Lenny Kravitz.Bantam Books
Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine, with funding from Grosset & Dunlap and Curtis Publishing Company. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it to form Bantam Doubleday Dell. It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.Bertelsmann Music Group
Bertelsmann Music Group (abbreviated as BMG) was a division of German media company Bertelsmann before its completion of sale of the majority of its assets to Japan's Sony Corporation of America on 1 October 2008. Although it was established in 1987, the music company was formed as RCA/Ariola International in 1984 as a joint venture to combine the music label activities of RCA Corporation's RCA Records division and Bertelsmann's Ariola Records and its associated labels which include Arista Records. It consisted of the BMG Music Publishing company, the world's third largest music publisher and the world's largest independent music publisher, and (since August 2004) the 50% share of the joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment, which established the German American Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Sony BMG) from 2004 to 2008.Bertelsmann Stiftung
The Bertelsmann Stiftung is an independent foundation under private law, based in Gütersloh, Germany. It was founded in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn as the result of social, corporate and fiscal considerations. As the Bertelsmann Stiftung itself has put it, the foundation promotes "reform processes" and "the principles of entrepreneurial activity" to build a "future-oriented society."Since 1993, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has held the majority of capital shares in the Bertelsmann Group. It holds 80.9% together with the Reinhard Mohn Stiftung and the BVG Stiftung but has no voting rights.CDNow
CDnow, Inc. was a dot-com company that operated an online shopping website selling compact discs and music-related products. In April 1998, during the dot-com bubble, the company was valued at over $1 billion. In July 2000, it was acquired by Bertelsmann Music Group for $117 million; shortly thereafter Amazon was contracted to operate the website. At its peak, it employed over 750 people and had offices in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, New York City, London, and Los Angeles.Harvill Secker
Harvill Secker is a British publishing company formed in 2005 from the merger of Secker & Warburg and the Harvill Press.Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is a German media group, a wholly owned subsidiary of CLT-UFA, which owns several television channels in Germany.Modern Library
The Modern Library is an American publishing company. Founded in 1917 by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright as an imprint of their publishing company Boni & Liveright, it was purchased in 1925 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. Random House began in 1927 as a subsidiary of the Modern Library but eventually overtook its parent to become the parent company of what then only became an imprint of Random House.Penguin Group
The Penguin Group is a trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House. It is owned by Pearson PLC, the global education and publishing company, and Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. The new company was created by a merger that was finalised on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann owning 53% of the joint venture, and Pearson controlling the remaining 47%.Penguin Books has its registered office in City of Westminster, London.Its British division is Penguin Books Ltd. Other separate divisions can be found in the United States, Ireland, New Zealand, India, Australia, Canada, China, Brazil and South Africa.Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House (PRH) is an American multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Random House (owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann) and Penguin Group (owned by British publishing company Pearson PLC).
As of 2013, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints. These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital.
Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany.RTL Group
RTL Group is a Luxembourg-based digital media group with interests in 61 television and 30 radio stations in 10 countries. The group operates TV channels and radio stations in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, and Croatia as well as production companies throughout the world. It is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Its shares are quoted on the MDAX stock exchange in Germany.
It is one of the world's leading producers of television content, such as game shows and soaps (particularly through its ownership of London-based Fremantle), including The X Factor, Pop Idol, Good Times, Bad Times, The Price Is Right, Family Feud and The Bill.
RTL originally stood for Radio Television Lëtzebuerg (in Luxemburgish), Radio Télévision Luxembourg (in French) or Radio Television Luxemburg (in German); with its English translation of the abbreviation as Radio [and] Television of Luxembourg.Random House
Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world.
As of 2013, it is part of Penguin Random House, which is jointly owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and British global education and publishing company Pearson PLC.Sony BMG
Sony BMG Music Entertainment was an American record company owned as a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann Music Group. The venture's successor, the revived Sony Music Entertainment, is wholly owned by Sony, following their buyout of the remaining 50% held by Bertelsmann AG. BMG was instead rebuilt as BMG Rights Management on the basis of 200 remaining artists.Sony Music
Sony Music Entertainment (SME), commonly known as Sony Music, is an American global music conglomerate owned by Sony and incorporated as a general partnership of Sony Music Holdings Inc. through Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Japanese Sony Corporation. It was originally founded in 1929 as American Record Corporation and renamed as Columbia Recording Corporation in 1938, following its acquisition by the Columbia Broadcasting System. In 1966, the company was reorganized to become CBS Records, and Sony Corporation bought the company in 1988, renaming it under its current name in 1991. In 2004, Sony and Bertelsmann established a 50-50 joint venture known as Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which transferred the businesses of Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group into one entity. However, in 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's stake, and the company reverted to the SME name shortly after; the buyout allowed Sony to acquire all of BMG's labels, and led to the dissolution of BMG, which instead relaunched as BMG Rights Management.
Sony Music Entertainment is the second largest of the "Big Three" record companies, behind Universal Music Group and ahead of Warner Music Group. Its music publishing division Sony/ATV is the largest music publisher in the world. It also owns SYCO Entertainment, which operates some of the world's most successful reality TV formats, including Got Talent and The X Factor.Transworld Publishers
Transworld Publishers Inc. is a British publishing house in Ealing, London that is a division of Penguin Random House, one of the world's largest mass media groups. It was established in 1950 as the British division of American company Bantam Books. It publishes fiction and non fiction titles by various best-selling authors including Val Wood under several different imprints. Hardbacks are either published under the Doubleday or the Bantam Press imprint, whereas paperbacks are published under the Black Swan, Bantam or Corgi imprint.Zoo Entertainment (record label)
Zoo Entertainment was an American record label formed in 1990 by Lou Maglia. Zoo released three platinum Tool records, as well as gold records by Green Jellÿ and Matthew Sweet. During its early, successful years, music industry executive George Daly was the label's original Vice President of A&R.
|Penguin Random House|
|Gruner + Jahr|