Bertelsmann has invested in a “leading” corporate training company in Brazil as part of its plans to increase its footprint in the country’s education market.
Affero Lab offers digital solutions for learning as well as classroom-based and blended training solutions for companies.
Bertelsmann will become a key shareholder in the company with a stake of more than 40%.
This is Bertelmann’s first direct investment in an education firm in Brazil.
The transaction is a partnership with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC. IFC and the IFC ALAC Fund will hold more than 30% between them, with the remaining shares distributed between the company's founders and management.
The financial details of the deal remain confidential, but Bertelsmann will have an option to become the majority shareholder in the future.
Fernando Carro, president Latin America and Spain and member of the group management committee of Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann is making great progress in Brazil. The investment in Affero Lab addresses two of Bertelsmann’s global strategic objectives: expansion in Brazil and in education.
“Our investment in Affero Lab is another important step on our path to make the education business a third mainstay of business for Bertelsmann alongside media and services.”
Thomas Mackenbrock, m.d. of Bertelsmann Brazil, said: “Affero Lab has been active in the corporate training and digital learning market for 20 years, and today trains more than 1m people per year. We’re excited to become part of this story now and, together with our partners, make sure Affero Lab grows further. With this investment in the Brazilian market leader, we have taken an important step for our education strategy in Brazil.”
Bertelsmann has been working to expand its education business.
In March 2014 it launched an education technology fund in Brazil to help it take the “next step in the education sector”.
In October 2014, the company took over the US online education provider Relias Learning, and in February this year it expanded its investment in the education business with the addition of Alliant International University.
In March increased its stake in the educational service company Synergis Education.