News | Bertelsmann Investments | Gütersloh, 10/13/2021

Bertelsmann Investments Buys Rote Liste® Service GmbH

  • Business activities to be continued and further expanded into digital
  • Previous owners to remain involved as members of the advisory board

Gütersloh, October 13, 2021 – Bertelsmann Investments (BI) is investing in the promising digital health sector by acquiring Rote Liste® Service GmbH in Germany. The company is being taken over from its previous owners, Bundesverband der Pharmazeutischen Industrie e.V. (BPI) and Verband Forschender Arzneimittelhersteller e.V. (vfa), with effect from October 1, 2021. The parties have agreed not to disclose details of the transaction. The products and services of Rote Liste® Service GmbH are to be continued and further expanded going forward, particularly in the digital domain. The successful management team of the company will remain in charge; the previous owners will remain involved as members of the advisory board.

Rote Liste® Service GmbH is a publishing house and service company that provides information about pharmaceutical drugs to medical and pharmaceutical professionals as well as patients. The company’s flagship product is the so-called Rote Liste® in printed form. For almost 90 years, it has provided information on medicinal products and, with approximately 270,000 copies in circulation, is regarded as the highest-circulation pharmaceutical directory in Germany. The information it contains is simultaneously provided on various digital channels, such as online databases and apps.

Peter Koop, Vice President Bertelsmann Investments, said: “This acquisition opens up new strategic options for Bertelsmann in the fast-growing healthcare sector. Rote Liste already plays a central role in the market as a hub for information on pharmaceutical drugs. We want to build on this good starting position and help shape the further digitalization of healthcare. I look forward to working with the ‘Rote Liste’ team.” The previous shareholders BPI and vfa said: “In recent years, we have successfully transformed Rote Liste from a pure publisher of books containing information on pharmaceutical drugs into a recognized digital provider. Now is the right time to bring a strong new owner on board, in the form of Bertelsmann, and open up new development opportunities for the company.”

With this acquisition, the international media, services and education company Bertelsmann further expands its existing business activities in the healthcare sector. The various Solution Groups of its services subsidiary Arvato have been active in this area for some time already – Arvato Systems, for example, is a central player in the operation and development of the German telematics infrastructure (TI); BFS Health Finance offers comprehensive financing services for the medical profession and clinics; and Arvato Supply Chain Solutions provides the full spectrum of logistics services to customers in the pharmaceutical and med-tech industries. Bertelsmann’s media businesses also offer popular products addressing health topics. Bertelsmann Education Group has a strong focus on healthcare businesses as well, with Relias Learning and Alliant, as does BI with Afya.

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has around 130,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.3 billion in the 2020 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. In 2021, Bertelsmann commemorates the 100th birthday of Reinhard Mohn, the Group's late post-war founder and longtime Chairman and CEO.

About Bertelsmann Investments
Bertelsmann Investments unites Bertelsmann’s global holdings in startups. Its activities are focused on the strategic growth regions of Brazil, China, and India, as well as the U.S. and Europe. BI acquires its stakes through the strategic investment platforms Bertelsmann Brazil Investments (BBI), Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI). Bertelsmann owns stakes in more than 160 innovative companies via these funds.