Orell Füssli acquires hep Verlag and becomes the largest private Swiss publisher of learning media

Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR

Zurich, 6 July 2022 - Orell Füssli is acquiring a majority stake in hep Verlag, a leading supplier of Swiss learning media. With this move, Orell Füssli Publishing and hep Verlag are joining forces in the field of learning media for various school and training levels and in the development of a convergent learning media system in the field of e-learning and hybrid offerings. Through this acquisition Orell Füssli is significantly expanding its existing publishing portfolio, strengthening its position in the attractive market for learning media and taking a significant step in the implementation of its growth strategy in the education sector. hep Verlag will continue to be run as an independent publishing house in Berne with the existing management team.

The government’s competence-oriented educational mandate and new, digital application possibilities in the field of education are leading to a strong increase in demand for innovative, hybrid or purely digital learning media at all school levels and in vocational education and training. Orell Füssli Publishing and hep Verlag intend to jointly address the attractive market potential and will in future develop and offer a broad, coordinated portfolio of digital learning media geared to action competences in addition to traditional printed learning materials. The complementary portfolios of Orell Füssli and hep offer ideal conditions for positioning themselves as leading suppliers in the education market for learning content and for playing a decisive role in shaping the digital transformation in the learning media sector in future. The merger will create one of the largest and most important educational media publishers in Switzerland.

With its print and digital offerings, hep Verlag is one of the largest educational media publishers in Switzerland and stands for innovation and quality in the field of education. The focus of the publishing house's work is the development of teaching and learning media for secondary level II, tertiary education and vocational education. The portfolio includes more than 900 titles and also offers fully digitised learning media editions with high functionality. With its 45 employees, hep generated a turnover of around CHF 10 million in 2021. All employees will be taken over and the existing management team will continue to run the operational business. The company will continue to operate as an independent legal entity at its Berne location. Publisher and founder Peter Egger has decided to leave the company after a transitional period. Manuel Schär, long-time managing director of hep Verlag, has already taken over the chairmanship of the board of directors from Peter Egger at the beginning of July 2022. The board of directors will in future be supplemented by two members of Orell Füssli AG. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Daniel Link, CEO Orell Füssli: "The acquisition of hep strengthens our market position in the education sector in Switzerland and opens up exciting development opportunities for us. With the acquisition of hep Verlag we not only gain an experienced learning media team with a high level of competence in the Swiss education market, but together we will be in an even better position to develop new learning media and innovative digital offerings efficiently and offer them in the market."

The acquisition of hep Verlag will make a positive contribution to the EBIT, and Orell Füssli now expects to reach an EBIT margin at the previous year's level for 2022.


About hep Verlag AG

Since the founding of the publishing house in 2000, the hep Verlag has been developing teaching materials in various media formats and for all teaching levels. The company attaches great importance to a close exchange with teachers and students in order to ensure the quality of the educational media in everyday teaching. Thanks to its many years of experience and innovative spirit, the hep Verlag AG has established itself as an important publisher in the educational landscape.

Publication of half-year results for 2022                           5 August 2022

Orell Füssli AG
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Orell Füssli is a pioneer in the field of security and education. As an expert in security solutions for the state and citizens alike and a leading Swiss player in the book retailing sector, Orell Füssli supports its clients with a unique and customer-specific offering.

As a leading system provider of security technology and identification systems and a long-standing partner to governments, Orell Füssli is a technological standard-setter. In the areas of security printing and serialisation, Orell Füssli offers innovative printing processes and services for the production and successful protection of banknotes, value documents and identity documents.

With its attractive large-format and specialist bookstores, Orell Füssli offers a true book shopping experience. In the Book Retailing segment, Orell Füssli holds a 50% stake in Orell Füssli Thalia AG, which offers a comprehensive range of products and services via 45 branches located in German-speaking Switzerland and various e-commerce services. Orell Füssli provides logistics and other services for libraries and the corporate sector. Orell Füssli’s publishing houses focus on learning and educational media, and children’s books that impart knowledge.

Orell Füssli was established more than 500 years ago and generates revenue of some CHF 210 million with about 600 employees in five countries. Orell Füssli is listed on SIX Swiss Exchange.