The Franz Cornelsen Bildungsgruppe (Franz Cornelsen Education Group) is a German education company that creates and distributes educational materials for a market spanning from pre-school education to vocational training.

Analysis & Key Developments


In fiscal 2013, Cornelsen experienced a sharp loss in revenues, shrinking from 419 million EUR in 2012 to 330 million EUR in 2013, reflecting the disposal of several businesses in 2012 and 2013, when Cornelsen sold the youth and children programs Sauerländer, Programme der Verlage Duden and Meyers, academic imprints Akademie Verlag and Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, and the tutoring service Studienkreis.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization

After divesting its non-educational activities, Cornelsen is continuing a restructuring process to focus on its core business. The company cut 200 full-time employees and consolidated the executive boards of the Bildungsholding (education holding) with the management of the textbook publishing group, which resulted in four out of ten executives dropping out. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Daniel retired, while Urban Meister left the group for personal reasons in June 2014. They are succeeded by Dr. Anja Hagen and Frank Thalhofer who will serve as publishing executives. In April 2014, Cornelsen announced the divestment of adult education college AKAD to the investment company Aurelius, which already purchased Corlnelsen’s Studienkreis.


Cornelsen launched its online learning platform scook, which provides electronic learning materials to teachers and students. All new released textbooks are sold as digital-print bundles with a code to activate the digital version on scook.

Earlier Developments


The group revenue fell slightly from 429 million EUR to 419 million EUR in 2012.

Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization

CEO and Managing Director Alexander Bob announced that Cornelsen would reorganize its businesses and implement a digital strategy through the end of 2014. The transformation implicates the reduction of 200 full-time employees. In order to make workflow more effectively, the publishing house banks on digital investments.

The reorganization is done against the background of a shrinking textbook market and growing digitization in school teaching and private learning vendors. In 2009 and 2010, the group formed out of the merger of Cornelsen, Duden, Paetec, Oldenbourg:bsv and Volk & Wissen. Beforehand, Cornelsen separated from its children segment, the academic publishing houses Akademie and Oldenbourg, and its tutoring centers called Studienkreis (Study Group).

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