Press release

Arvato, Gruner + Jahr and Axel Springer AG Notify Printing Joint Venture in Brussels

Hamburg, 04 November 2004 –

russels, November 5, 2004 – On Thursday, Arvato, Gruner + Jahr and Axel Springer AG submitted the planned joint venture of their German and UK gravure operations to the EU Commission in Brussels for merger review. The companies are creating the joint venture to gain long-term security in the highly competitive European illustration printing market.

The market involved is the EU-wide market for high-volume illustration printing. This market includes theprinting of catalogues, magazines and advertising brochures on rotogravure and heatset web offset presses.

On September 1st, the Bertelsmann divisions Arvato and Gruner + Jahr signed a Letter of Intent with Axel Springer AG, governing the merger of their printing operations in Ahrensburg, Darmstadt, Dresden, Itzehoe, and Nuremberg. The inclusion of a printing facility currently under construction in Liverpool was also agreed. Arvato and Gruner + Jahr will each own 37.45 percent in the joint venture; Axel Springer AG will own 25.1 percent. The joint venture will be jointly controlled by all parties.

For further questions, please contact:

Gruner + Jahr AG & Co. KG
Thomas Huber
Telefon: +49-40-3703-3113

Arvato AG
Thorsten Strauß
Telefon: +49-5241–8050-97

Axel Springer AG
Edda Fels
Telefon: +49-30–2591-77600

Bertelsmann AG
Oliver Herrgesell
Telefon: +49-5241–802466