Press release

European Commission Clears Gravure Printing Joint Venture

Hamburg, 02 May 2005 – Stephan Krauss Appointed Chief Executive Officer of the New Company

Bertelsmann, Arvato, Gruner + Jahr and Axel Springer AG welcome today´s decision by the European Commission to clear the planned gravure printing joint venture. The companies involved are establishing their joint venture to lastingly safeguard and enhance their activities in the highly competitive European illustration printing market. This market includes the printing of catalogues, magazines and advertising brochures on rotogravure and heat-set web offset presses. This positive decision follows extensive consultation with all parties involved and a full investigation into the antitrust repercussions of the deal. Stephan Krauss (43) will head the management of the new gravure company as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Krauss is currently a member of the Arvato AG board and Chairman of the Management Board of the Maul-Belser Media Group, Nuremberg. Krauss, a graduate in engineering, began his career at Bertelsmann in 1988 as assistant to Gunter Thielen, at the time CEO of Bertelsmann´s Printing and Industrial Services division. After holding executive positions at various printing companies in the group, he was appointed to the Maul-Belser management board in 1996, and a year later became its chairman. Krauss has been a member of the Arvato AG board since September 2002. In this capacity, he coordinates Arvato´s gravure activities in Europe while also bearing the overall responsibility for the division´s printing operations in Germany. On September 1st 2004, the Bertelsmann divisions Arvato and Gruner + Jahr had 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 Arvato´s printing facility currently under construction in Liverpool was also agreed. The companies had submitted the proposal for a joint venture to the European Commission in Brussels for merger review on November 4, 2004.

The joint venture contracts were signed in December 2004. Arvato and Gruner + Jahr each have a 37.45-percent stake in the new joint venture, while Axel Springer AG holds 25.1 percent.

For further questions, please contact:

Bertelsmann AG
Oliver Herrgesell
Phone: +49-5241-802466
Arvato AG
Thorsten Strauß
Phone: +49-5241-805097
Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG
Kurt Otto
Phone: +49-40-3703-3810
Axel Springer AG
Edda Fels
Phone: +49-30-2591-776-00