2003 The Bonnier Group, Sweden
The Bonnier Group
The Bonnier Group is a leading Scandinavian diversified media conglomerate of over 200 privately owned companies. The ownership is in the hands of 73 family members from the 5th to the 8th generations who are direct descendants of the founding family.The Bonnier family business began in 1804 when Gerhard Bonnier (1778-1862), the founder, son of a banker in Dresden, opened a library in Copenhagen. He grew his modest library into a book publishing business. The 6th generation concluded that it should focus on the traditional industry – media – and capitalize on new opportunities there. To fund this strategy, there were divestitures of investments in unrelated industries. In 1998 Bonnier acquired Marieberg, a publicly traded publishing business.
As the Bonnier Group celebrates its 200th anniversary, the 6th and 7th generations appear to be firmly committed to the future as a family business. The Group has governance structures in place – both for the business and for the family – that they use actively and to ensure transparency, commitment and emotional attachment to the business