German media conglomerate Bertelsmann “is growing too slowly”, said its chief executive on 13 September as he announced plans to reshape the family business.
Non-family Thomas Rabe said, following a two-day meeting with 500 of the group’s executives, the company had decided to focus on four strategies including strengthening the core businesses, developing its digital side and increasing market share in emerging markets.
To do so, the company will use a combination of debt, partnerships and equity. It is thought the firm is hoping to raise €1 billion in equity – from a mixture of private investors and possible public offerings of individual companies within the group.
The meeting came just weeks after the business changed its legal structure to allow it to take on outside investors. However, even if new investors did come on board, a spokesman for the company told CampdenFB the controlling Mohn family “will always stick to Bertelsmann”. The change in legal structure means the Mohn family will retain control of the board.
He refused to comment on whether the company was seeking other families as investors.
The group saw sales grow 1.2% to €15.3 billion last year.