Arvato Digital Services, which is owned by the German media group Bertelsmann, is to partner with Universal Music's Berlin-based merchandising company Deutschrock.

Deutschrock was founded in the early '90s by the German band "Die Ärzte," and since 2007 a majority of its shares have been held by Universal Music. Deutschrock has become a market leader in fan merchandise for the music sector, covering various genres.

Under the new cooperation agreement, Guetersloh-based Arvato Digital Services will provide a wide variety of services for Deutschrock, including product manufacturing, warehousing, order picking, shipment to customers and end-customer management.

"In the entertainment sector, merchandise and direct sales to customers are playing an increasingly important role," said Sven Deutschmann, CEO of Arvato Digital Services Manufacturing EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), in a statement. "Accordingly, we have been investing in this market and further expanding the range of services we provide to our customers. The new cooperation agreement allows us to demonstrate our competence in this area."

Tonio Bogdanski, CFO Universal Music Germany in Berlin, added: "We have been looking for a reliable and competent service provider to offer professional support for our existing merchandising business, while working with us to further expand that business. We have found this partner in Arvato Digital Services."

Arvato Digital Services offers its business partners in the IT/high-tech, games, video and audio industries a range of services, with 8,000 employees worldwide. Its global presence covers 18 countries and five continents.