Bertelsmann Creates Europe’s Biggest Printing Group

- Group merges its print operations to form Bertelsmann Printing Group, with revenues of €1.7 billion and nearly 9,000 employees

- New corporate division comprises Bertelsmann’s worldwide offset and gravure activities

- Axel Hentrei and Bertram Stausberg new Co-CEOs, Ulrich Cordes CFO

Bertelsmann is forming Europe’s largest network of printing companies. The international media, services and education group is merging its offset and gravure printing activities under a shared organizational umbrella, effective January 1, 2016. Bertelsmann Printing Group, the new division, will have revenues of €1.7 billion, and nearly 9,000 employees. The Group will unite a broad range of print-related services, reaching from prepress services, and printing to postal delivery and flyer distribution for a variety of products such as magazines, books, telephone directories, catalogs and brochures.


The Bertelsmann Printing Group will be comprised of Mohn Media, GGP Media and Vogel Druck, which are currently part of the services division Arvato; Prinovis’ gravure printing activities in Germany and the U.K., currently part of Be Printers; and Be Printers’ offset and digital printing plants in the U.S. The new division also will include other services and production businesses: RTV Media Group, the direct-marketing specialist Arvato Campaign, as well as the replication business (Arvato Entertainment). The Bertelsmann Printing Group will be headquartered in Gütersloh.


Axel Hentrei, currently CEO of Arvato Print Solution Group, and Bertram Stausberg, the CEO of Be Printers and Prinovis, will head the Bertelsmann Printing Group as Co-CEOs. They will report to Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann. Ulrich Cordes, currently responsible for Digital Marketing, Print Solutions, IT Solutions and Replication at Arvato, will become Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the new Group.


Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, says: “Today’s step marks a milestone in strengthening our core. The Bertelsmann Printing Group will be at the forefront of shaping the printing business. As the market leader in Europe, the new division will be in an excellent position to meet the challenges of the industry. At the same time, this initiative now enables our service unit Arvato to focus fully on its growing services business – including the areas of CRM, SCM, financial solutions, and IT.”


Axel Hentrei and Bertram Stausberg, Co-CEOs of Bertelsmann Printing Group, add: “Establishing the Bertelsmann Printing Group is a logical step forward. The print market is changing. Offset and gravure printing are increasingly converging. Now, under a shared organizational umbrella, our print businesses can act collaboratively and leverage synergies.”


Together, the companies in the Bertelsmann Printing Group print 1.6 million tons of paper per year using gravure, offset and digital processes. Their key markets are Germany, the U.K., France and the U.S., with clients including publishers, renowned industrial and services companies, successful mail-order companies, as well as well-known retailers and consumer goods companies.