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With gross domestic product of US$ 2.2 trillion (2014) Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world. It has more than 200 million inhabitants and a rising middle class with a very strong affinity for digital media and online education. The Brazilian metropolis São Paulo, the economic center of Latin America, is home to more foreign companies than any other city in the world.
Nearly all Bertelsmann divisions are active in Brazil. The RTL Group subsidiary Fremantle Media Brazil has worked with leading broadcasters to produce new formats for Brazilian television, besides other globally successful shows. Penguin Random House owns a stake in one of Brazil’s largest publishing groups, Companhia das Letras, which has a catalog of more than 4,800 titles and counts 26 Nobel laureates among its authors. Gruner + Jahr publishes car, motorcycle and truck magazines through Motor Press Brazil. Arvato offers a portfolio of printing and supply chain management services to a broad range of clients. Beyond this, Arvato has expanded its financial services business in Brazil by acquiring a stake in the financial services provider Intervalor.
After 40 years of continuous presence in Brazil (in 1972, the Bertelsmann book club was opened in Brazil), in 2012 the Corporate Center Brazil was founded in São Paulo – a logical move to further leverage the potential of this growth region. The Corporate Center supports Bertelsmann’s existing local activities and advances the development of companies and investments in new lines of business.
In the same year, Bertelsmann Brazil started exploring suitable investments in the areas of digital media and education. Thereto Marc Puškarić, Managing Director Bertelsmann Brazil Investments and Corporate Center in Sao Paulo: “With our investments in education, we want to enable the people in Brazil to achieve higher education and enhance their living conditions in a perceptible way”
In the digital space, Bertelsmann has made fund-of-fund and direct investments, including JusBrasil, a unique website where users can search a wide range of legal information. Two investments reflect Bertelsmann’s strong interest in Brazil’s education sector: the BR Education Ventures fund with a focus on education technology, and the Bozano Education Fund II, which focuses on health education. In addition, Bertelsmann has acquired a stake in the corporate training provider Affero Lab.
Shobhna Mohn, Executive Vice President Growth Regions, explains: “Both the education sector as a global growth market and the emerging economic region of Brazil play a central role in Bertelsmann’s growth strategy. With the Bozano II and BR Education Ventures funds, we are committed to the Brazilian education market – we will continue to invest in the region.”
there is a great deal of pent-up demand in the media, education and services sectors?