arvato AG Acquires International Gothia Financial Group

           arvato AG Acquires International Gothia Financial Group

  PR Newswire

  GÜTERSLOH, Germany and OSLO, Norway, April 25, 2013

GÜTERSLOH, Germany and OSLO, Norway, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  *arvato is to combine its existing financial services with those of Gothia
    to become one of Europe's leading companies for integrated financial
    services, with subsidiary arvato infoscore as nucleus.
  *The combination strengthens the growth businesses of Bertelsmann and
    arvato in Business Information Services.

The Bertelsmann subsidiary arvato AG is acquiring Gothia Financial Group
headquartered in Norway and thereby combining its financial services
activities. The combination with its subsidiary arvato infoscore as a nucleus
makes arvato Europe's number 3 in the fast growing field of Business
Information and Financial Services with a combined revenue of more than EUR
500 million ^[1] . arvato and Herkules Capital, a leading Norwegian Private
Equity firm which has owned Gothia since 2008, have agreed not to disclose any
financial details.

Gothia Financial Group is a full-service provider for the entire invoice
process chain. The company offers its clients solutions that range from
invoicing to accounts receivable and liabilities management. With over 1,200
employees and more than 2,000 clients, Gothia is very well established in the
Scandinavian countries as well as the UK and Ireland region and has distinct
growth opportunities in the GSA region, comprising Germany, Switzerland and
Austria, as well as the Netherlands and Spain.

With the combination, arvato will advance the internationalization of its
business information and financial services activities and be able to offer
its payment handling solutions to clients all over Europe going forward. In
particular, arvato will benefit from Gothia's strong service portfolio in the
rapidly growing eCommerce segment as well as in factoring. Potential is to be
unlocked notably through the pan-European use of the PayByBill payment
solution established by Gothia. Integration of this product rounds out arvato
infoscore's portfolio in B2C factoring, which includes its own Trust'nPay
solution.

Achim Berg, CEO of arvato AG and member of the executive board of Bertelsmann,
said: "The combination of arvato infoscore and Gothia has compelling logic for
us-it serves both the arvato and the Bertelsmann strategy and meets investment
criteria perfectly. The market for business information shows an attractive,
lasting dynamic and enables high rates of profitable growth. Given the low
cyclicality, we're expanding into a highly resilient market strongly driven by
growth areas like eCommerce."

--------------------------------------------------

1. Number relating to fiscal year 2012.

Rikke Tobiasson Reinemo, Partner Herkules Capital, stated: "Gothia has become
a leading European credit management solutions provider with a unique ability
to service the entire credit management solutions value chain. During
Herkules' ownership, Gothia has substantially strengthened its organization,
market presence and product portfolio at the same time as having solid
earnings growth every year. We have had a great cooperation with the strong
management team."

Michael Weinreich, member of the executive board of arvato AG and CEO of
arvato infoscore, commented: "The acquisition is mainly focused on combining
geographically complementary services. Moreover, we will be able to offer all
customers attractive new services in the field of business information. The
workforce at Gothia's operating locations plays a crucial part here. I am
pleased that Trond Kristian Andreassen is taking a key role in driving ahead
the combination as deputy CEO of arvato infoscore."

Trond Kristian Andreassen, current CEO of Gothia Financial Group A.S., added:
"arvato infoscore is an ideal partner for us. Both our companies have similar
business models and complementary regional areas. We both also have a
corporate culture committed to the entrepreneurial spirit."

The transaction, which has to be approved by the anti-trust and bank
supervisory authorities, is expected to be completed by mid-year 2013.

About arvato

As a global BPO services provider, arvato supports business customers all over
the world in successfully shaping their customer relationships. 64,000
employees in almost 40 countries design and implement customized solutions for
this purpose. These consist of processes such as marketing and CRM services,
supply chain management and distribution as well as financial services - all
of which are interlinked by integrated IT platforms. arvato AG is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. More information to be found
at: http://www.arvato.com .

About arvato infoscore

arvato infoscore is a subsidiary of arvato AG, the internationally networked
outsourcing service provider of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. Headquartered in
Baden-Baden, arvato infoscore operates from twelve locations in Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the Netherlands with a workforce of 2,400
employees. The company provides the full range of accounts receivable
management services, from risk scoring and inception, billing and settlement
including securing and prefinancing, right through to payment entry or
collection. More information to be found at: http://www.arvato-infoscore.de

About Herkules

Herkules consists of three funds, with a total capital base of NOK 12.25
billion in committed capital from Norwegian and international investors.
Herkules has the financial strength to acquire majority ownership positions in
established companies with growth potential. Companies owned by Herkules funds
are: Noratel, European House of Beds, Beerenberg Corp., Micro MaticNorge,
Tilbords, Hatteland Display, EFG European Furniture Group, Nevion,
EstrellaMaarud, Gothia Financial Group, Bandak, New Store Europe, Enoro, Odlo
Sports Group, Intelecom, NorskJernbanedrift, Helse Holding and Espresso House.
More information to be found at: http://www.herkules.no

About Gothia

Gothia is a leading partner for credit administration and financial services.
The group, which is owned by Herkules Capital, has had a very strong growth
since it was acquired back in 2008. In 2012, the company generated over EUR
130million in revenues and currently employs more than 1,200 staff in 9
countries. Also the financial results have developed very positively in the
same period. More information to be found at: http://www.gothiagroup.com

Press Contact arvato Klaus Markus Phone: +49-5241-80-34-08 E-Mail:
klaus.markus@bertelsmann.de

Gernot Wolf Phone: +49-5241-80-34-08 E-Mail: gernot.wolf@bertelsmann.de
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.