Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh/News York, 06/08/2021

Bertelsmann Significantly Expands Its Education Business

  • Bertelsmann acquires 25 percent of capital shares and 46 percent of voting rights in Nasdaq-listed Afya
  • Based on market capitalization, Afya is Brazil’s largest education company focused on the medical field
  • Bertelsmann invests around €500 million

Bertelsmann is expanding its footprint in Brazil’s fast-growing education market. The international media, services and education company is acquiring a 25-percent stake and 46 percent of the voting rights in Afya, the leading provider of medical education and training in Brazil, for the equivalent of €500 million. Bertelsmann co-founded and helped build Afya. The transaction is pending regulatory approval.

Since 2017, Afya has grown its revenue by an average of 80 percent per year to €203 million in 2020. Based on market capitalization, Afya is Brazil’s largest education company focused on the medical field.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe commented: “The acquisition of the Afya shares is of great strategic importance for Bertelsmann: It strengthens our global position in the market for education and training in the healthcare sector. It also creates another mainstay in Bertelsmann’s education portfolio alongside Relias and Alliant in the U.S. And it brings us significantly closer to our goal of generating annual revenues of one billion euros with the Bertelsmann Education division in the medium term.”

Shobhna Mohn, Executive Vice President Bertelsmann Investments, said: “Afya was successfully built up in cooperation with Crescera Capital, the founding Esteves family, Afya’s management, and our Bertelsmann investment team in Brazil. In the past few years, Afya has achieved significant double-digit growth every year despite the economic crisis in Brazil and the global pandemic. We are excited to make an important contribution to the further development of Bertelsmann’s Group strategy in the areas of education and internationalization with the acquisition of the Afya stake.”

Afya caters both to students and to physicians who want to continue their education. Successfully listed on New York’s Nasdaq since 2019, the company is the largest of its kind in Brazil. It has branches in 18 states across the South American country. More than 220,000 students and doctors now use Afya’s digital education services each month. Since 2017, the number of students enrolled in medical courses has increased sixfold to 13,000. Afya currently works with 430 partner clinics and hospitals.

Bertelsmann will acquire the shares in Afya from Crescera Educacional II, a fund launched in 2014 by Crescera Capital with Bertelsmann as the main investor. The Group intends to further develop Afya together with the founding Esteves family, which holds 24 percent of the shares and 45 percent of the voting rights, and the company’s successful management team.

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.