Corporate Governance

Bertelsmann: The Ownership Question

Print Share
Leaders of Bertelsmann AG (BAG), the fifth largest media conglomerate worldwide and first in Europe, had a decision to make in early 2006. Under an agreement it had reached in 2001, GBL, its only shareholder not controlled by the Mohn family, had the right to sell its 25% stake on the company in the stock market, provided it did not reach an agreement with the Mohn family beforehand for a buyback of this share package for a price to be negotiated. The case briefly lines Bertelsmann's business lines, Bertelsmann's corporate culture and its governance structure in terms of family and business control. Afterwards, the conditions of both alternatives and their consequences for the company are described (IPO vs. share buyback). Students are expected to deliver a well-rounded rationale for their decision, if they were in the shoes of Gunter Thielen, CEO of Bertelsmann, protagonist of the case.
Bibliographic citation: Neumann, Frederic A.; Tàpies, Josep, "Bertelsmann: The Ownership Question", IESE, DG-1506-E, 01/2007
Date: 31/01/2007
Author(s): Neumann, Frederic A.; Tàpies, Josep
Document type: Case
Editor(s): Cátedra de Empresa Familiar
Department: Strategic Management
Sector: Media
Languages: English
Year of the events: 2005-2006
Geographic area: Germany