Bertelsmann Honored by Visit from His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain
Liz Mohn, Christoph Mohn and Thomas Rabe welcome royal guest
His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain today visited the international media company Bertelsmann and its owning family, the Mohns. Liz Mohn, family spokeswoman at the BVG, Bertelsmann’s Supervisory Board Chairman Christoph Mohn, and Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe welcomed HM Felipe de Borbón y Grecia at midday today at the group’s Corporate Center in Gütersloh. Here, the royal guest learned more about the company and its various businesses, especially in Spain.
The visit to Bertelsmann was followed by a lunch for the King and members of the German-Spanish Business Council at Liz Mohn’s private residence. Bertelsmann coordinates the activities of the business council, founded in 2013, which works to promote German-Spanish relations. North Rhine-Westphalia’s state premier Hannelore Kraft also attended the lunch in Gütersloh.
Liz Mohn, family spokeswoman at the BVG, said: “The visit of His Majesty King Felipe VI Spain is a tremendous honor and a great privilege for our house – and it is also a very moving moment for me personally. The visit underlines the great mutual esteem and close ties between Spain, its royal family and Bertelsmann. This is a great day for our region, for Bertelsmann and for our family.”
Christoph Mohn, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann, said: “We are honored and grateful that His Majesty King Felipe VI has chosen to visit Bertelsmann on his first visit to Germany as Spain’s new head of state. Spain plays a major role in the history of our company. More than 50 years ago, it was the first foreign market that Bertelsmann – at that time under the aegis of my father – developed. Today, beyond being firmly rooted in the country with our businesses, we also support a variety of initiatives to promote culture in Spain.”
Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “King Felipe VI of Spain has shown his appreciation for the close ties between Bertelsmann and Spain with his visit, and we are delighted about this. Spain is one of Bertelsmann’s core markets, and all of our divisions have operations there. Spain also plays a very distinct role in our growth strategy; it serves as the bridgehead for expanding our activities in Latin America – most of our businesses there are managed from Spain.”
Fernando Carro, Chief Executive Officer of the Club and Direct Marketing Businesses and President Latin America and Spain at Bertelsmann, said: “Having His Majesty King Felipe VI Spain as our guest is an immense honor. Besides its business activities, Bertelsmann will continue to advocate for social, political, economic and cultural issues in Spain. Since 2013, we have had a representative office dedicated to this in Madrid, the Espacio Bertelsmann, which underscores our company’s deep roots in Spain’s cultural and business sectors.“
All of Bertelsmann’s divisions do business in Spain: RTL Group with Atresmedia and Fremantle Media España among others, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial with renowned publishers, Gruner + Jahr with its subsidiaries G + J España and Motorpress Ibérica, and Arvato with service businesses, as well as Be Printers with printing plants and the music company BMG with its own Spanish branch. In all, Bertelsmann generates annual revenues of around €700 million in Spain.
Beyond the business and cultural activities, long-standing ties of friendship exist between the Spanish royal family and Bertelsmann’s owning family, the Mohns. In 1998, HM Felipe de Borbón y Grecia – at the time Crown Prince – presented the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award to Bertelsmann’s postwar founder, Reinhard Mohn on behalf of the royal family and in acknowledgement of Mohn’s achievements in designing a corporate culture of partnership and his commitment to promoting libraries and literacy in Spain. In 2006, Liz Mohn was awarded the Spanish Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit (“La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil”) by HM Juan Carlos, then King of Spain.
His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain’s stop at Bertelsmann was part of the king’s inaugural visit to Germany.
Bertelsmann is an international media company whose core divisions encompass television (RTL Group), book publishing (Penguin Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), services (Arvato), and printing (Be Printers) in some 50 countries. In 2013, the company’s businesses, with their more than 111,000 employees, generated revenues of €16.4 billion. Bertelsmann stands for a combination of creativity and entrepreneurship that empowers the creation of first-rate media, communications, and service offerings to inspire people around the world and to provide innovative solutions for customers.