Benesse Corporation wants to help you live well, from infancy to old age. The diversified company provides products and services that educate children, inform parents, and care for the elderly. The company's education division, which accounts for nearly 60% of sales, provides correspondence course, exam prep services, and classroom education, to Japanese children from infancy through high school. Through Benesse Style Care the company operates nursing homes throughout Japan, as well as senior day care and temporary health care staffing services. Benesse Corporation also publishes magazines aimed primarily at women. Its Berlitz International subsidiary provides language training throughout the world.
Benesse is busy growing its education division by developing new tools and products such as learning software. The company even has developed Nintendo video games, which are aimed at educating elementary students. In 2008 the company introduced internet-based learning materials to supplement its traditional printed materials.
Benesse also plans to expand beyond its correspondence courses and has begun offering classroom-based education. In 2007 Benesse acquired two prep school companies and made a business alliance with a third.
Overseas expansion in its education business also is integral for the company as birthrates in Japan decline and its demographic for education slowly dwindles. Benesse is cultivating new markets and expanding overseas in places such as Taiwan, China, and South Korea.
Its language business also is positioned for growth. Berlitz is developing products and services and expanding into new countries such as Russia and China.
In further efforts to diversify its portfolio, Benesse acquired the midsize nursing home operator Bon Sejour in 2010. The deal gave the company nursing homes in about two dozen locations, primarily in the Tokyo and Osaka areas.
Chairman and CEO Soichiro Fukutake and his family own more than 15% of the company. – less