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13.06.2001 – 11:14

Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

Sonopress, Topac and DWS to strengthen Bertelsmann Arvato AG / Leading Manufacturer of Storage Media, Multimedia Printer, and Pioneer of Digital Rights Management on the Internet Move from BMG to Arvato

    Gütersloh (ots)

    Bertelsmann AG's Sonopress will undergo an in-house move, from the
Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) to the Arvato AG. The world's leading
manufacturer of CDs and DVDs represents Bertelsmann's Storage Media
division, together with the multimedia printer Topac, and the pioneer
of digital rights management, Digital World Services (DWS).
    The switch to Arvato AG reflects Bertelsmann's new structure with
its three strategic fields of business - content, media services and
direct-to-customer business. "The Sonopress companies are
state-of-the-art, innovative media service providers, whose services
and products go far beyond the mere production of music CDs. Their
range of services and the printing operations make this group of
companies a perfect match for the international service specialist
Arvato," said Bertelsmann President & CEO Thomas Middelhoff in
explanation of the decision, which was reached by mutual agreement
with BMG's President & CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz and Arvato CEO Gunter
Thielen. In times of rapidly changing competitive environments and
technological upheaval, the new structure will help the companies to
implement a stronger market presence, tap synergies, and provide
expanded service to customers.
    The group's companies in eleven countries specialize in the
manufacture and distribution of CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs, in multimedia
prints, holograms and packaging, as well as in the increasingly
important field of Digital Rights Management. More than three million
digital data carriers, with music, videos, computer games or
software, leave the group's production facilities each day. Sonopress
is the world's second-largest CD manufacturer. Digital rights
management by DWS currently offers all content-marketing industries
secure solutions for the future of online distribution, e.g. for
music file distribution that protects copyrights. The group's
customers include not only the music majors, but also big names like
Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Disney and IBM. At present, DWS is
successfully developing Napster's security package.
    "The Storage Media unit will strengthen Arvato in an important and
promising area. This will benefit not only us, but our customers as
well," noted Thielen. Arvato consists of market-leading printing
operations with state-of-the-art production lines. It also includes
the rapidly growing Services Group, which offers major international
customers single-source logistics management - i.e. for the flow of
information, of data and of goods. Custom-tailored print-on-demand
solutions are also part of the full-service concept behind the
Bertelsmann Arvato AG.
    Uwe Swientek, head of Storage Media, is leaving the BMG Board to
join the Arvato Board, where he will ensure the smooth and rapid
integration of his division into the Arvato service chain. Storage
Media is one of Bertelsmann's most successful fields of business,
with annual turnover of nearly 600m Euro. Its reassignment to Arvato
was already decided upon in outline last year, but was temporarily
suspended during the merger negotiations between BMG and EMI.
    Additional information on the above-mentioned companies is
    available on the Internet at,,, and>.
ots Originaltext: Bertelsmann AG
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