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With gross domestic product of US$ 1.8 trillion (2016) Brazil is the ninth largest economy in the world. It has more than 210 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 enjoyed a growing presence in the country, where it produces the local editions of its successful TV formats, among other programs. Penguin Random House owns a stake in one of Brazil’s largest publishing groups, Companhia das Letras. Arvato offers a portfolio of supply chain management and services to a broad range of clients. Beyond this, in 2017 Arvato has expanded its Financial Services business in Brazil by acquiring majority in the financial services provider Intervalor.
BMG has become active in Brazil in 2016, having acquired the renowned music publisher Basement Brazil. In the same year Udacity, part of the Bertelsmann Education Group, started its operation in the country. After 40 years of continuous presence in Brazil (in 1972, the Bertelsmann book club was opened in Brazil), in 2012 the Bertelsmann Brazil Corporate Center 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. To Marc Puškarić, Managing Director of Bertelsmann Brazil Investments and Head of the Corporate Center, the company seeks the vanguard of education and the qualification of health professionals grounding the development of a productive society. “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. Other two investments reflects 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 2, which focuses on health education. In addition, Bertelsmann also holds a share in the leading Brazilian corporate training company provider Affero Lab.
Shobhna Mohn, Executive Vice President Growth Regions, explains: “Both the education sector and the global growth market and emerging economic region of Brazil play a central role in Bertelsmann’s growth strategy. With the Bozano 2 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?