Groupe Lagardère




MarketCap FR

FR France


Lagardere SA engages in content publishing, production, broadcasting, and distribution businesses worldwide. It operates through two divisions: Lagardère Publishing, and Lagardère Travel Retail. The Lagardère Publishing division includes book publishing and e-publishing businesses, which cover the areas of education, general literature, illustrated books, partworks, dictionaries, youth works, mobile games, board games, and distribution in English, French, and Spanish languages. The Lagardère Travel Retail division is involved in retail activities in transit hubs and concessions in travel essentials, duty free and fashion, and food services fields. As of December 31, 2021, this segment operated 2,928 stores under its own international store names, such as Relay, Hubiz, 1Minute, Hub Convenience, Discover, Tech2go, Aelia Duty Free, The Fashion Gallery, The Fashion Place, Eye Love, So Chocolate, Bread&Co., Hello!, So! Coffee, Trib's, Vino Volo, Natoo, etc., as well as store names with a local identity comprising BuY Paris Duty Free, Casa Del Gusto, and The Belgian Chocolate House. It also operates stores under franchises or licenses, with retail partners that include TripAdvisor, Fnac, iStore, Marks & Spencer, Hermès, Victoria's Secret, Nespresso, Costa Coffee, Burger King, Dean & Deluca, Eric Kayser, and Paul. The company was formerly known as Lagardère SCA and changed its name to Lagardere SA in June 2021. The company was founded in 1826 and is headquartered in Paris, France.


Hachette and Matra, the foundation of Lagardère

The starting point for what would become the Lagardère Group was Louis Hachette's acquisition of Parisian bookstore Brédif in 1826. Hachette published magazines dedicated to public entertainment , 1855) and also took part in publishing the Dictionnaire de la Langue française with his friend Littré, starting in 1863. In 1953, Hachette launched Le Livre de Poche with Henri Filipacchi.

Created in 1945, Matra was the company behind several technological projects, including creating a twin-engine aeroplane prototype able to travel at 800 km/h and breaking the sound barrier at Mach 1.4 in vertical flight for the first time in Europe. In 1990, Matra Espace and the aerospace division of Gec Marconi came together to create Matra Marconi Space. Matra Hautes Technologies joined the aerospace industry and officially became Aerospatiale Matra on June 11, 1999. EADS, or the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, later Airbus, was founded on July 10, 2000, from the merger of Aérospatiale Matra SA, Aeronautics SA, and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG. It officially launched the A380 program that same year. The aircraft would make its first flight in 2005.

Jean-Luc Lagardère and the birth of the group

In 1963, Jean-Luc Lagardère was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Matra, with 1,450 employees. In 1981, he became head of Hachette. In 1988, the group acquired Grolier Encyclopedias in the USA, its first overseas acquisition. In 1992, after a major year-long restructuring, Matra Hachette and Lagardère group were created. In 1990, Jean-Luc Lagardère turned to television and became head of La Cinq, which had been suffering from financial problems since it began operations in 1986. The network's financial problems would worsen after Lagardère took control, and La Cinq ultimately ceased operations on 12 April 1992 .

Arnaud Lagardère and the group's refocus on media

In 1994, Hachette Livre launched the first multimedia encyclopedia, Axis. Also in 1994, Matra Hachette Multimedia presented EPSIS, the first image-substitution process for advertising. In 1998, Hachette Multimedia was born of the consolidation of the multimedia division of Hachette Livre and Grolier Interactive . A strategic agreement signed in 2000 by Lagardère and Deutsche Telekom to provide Internet service led to the merger of T-Online and Club-Internet.

In 1995, Hachette acquired UCS, Canada's leading newsstand chain, and became the third largest operator in the international retail press trade. In 1996, Hachette Livre acquired the Hatier Group. In 1997, Hachette Livre won a string of literary prizes, including the Prix Goncourt and the Prix de l'Académie française with La Bataille by Patrick Rambaud . That same year, Europe 1 and Club-Internet launched Europe Info. In 2000, Hachette Distribution Services created Relay, an international brand specializing in selling media products at public points of sale. That same year, Lagardère and Canal+ got into digital television. In 2001, Lagardère acquired the Virgin Stores brand and Virgin Megastore in France. Hachette Filipacchi Médias has continued its growth by taking a 42% stake in the Marie-Claire Group.

From a conglomerate to a media-diversified group

With the death of Jean-Luc Lagardère on March 14, 2003, Arnaud Lagardère was appointed General Partner of Lagardère SCA. That same year, Lagardère sold off its interest in Renault as well as its automotive engineering business. In 2004, the Group acquired Vivendi Universal Publishing. After antitrust review, Lagardère kept 40% of the company, including the imprints Larousse, Dalloz, Dunod, Nathan, Armand Colin and Sedes, as well as the Spanish division Grupo Anaya. The remainder was sold in 2004 under the name of Editis. Lagardère took advantage of the growth of TNT to launch the youth channel Gulli in partnership with France Télévisions.

In 2006, Arnaud Lagardère created Lagardère Sports, a new subsidiary of the Group specializing in sports economics and sporting rights. Lagardère also became the new franchisee of the Croix-Catelan and the Rue Eblé sports and recreation sites, for a twenty-year period. On May 31, 2010, Lagardère Sports changed its name and became Lagardère Unlimited, a new branch of the group specializing in the sport industry and entertainment.On July 8, 2015, Lagardère Services was renamed Lagardère Travel Retail. On September 15 of that year, agencies of the Lagardère Group announced that they were being renamed under a common corporate brand: Lagardère Sports and Entertainment. This new brand would replace the brand of Lagardère Unlimited as one of the four divisions of the Lagardère Group. In addition, all sports marketing agencies within this division, including Sportfive, World Sport Group, IEC in Sports, Sports Marketing and Management and Lagardère Unlimited Inc., would be unified under a single commercial brand, Lagardère Sports, with all entertainment businesses under the brand Lagardère Live Entertainment.

2010 shareholders meeting

Seventeen years after the creation of the limited partnership disputed by an American activist, the SCA was confirmed by nearly 80% of shareholders at the Shareholders Meeting on April 27, 2010.

Agreement between Lagardère SCA and Hearst Corporation

On March 28, 2011, Lagardère SCA signed a contract to sell its international magazine business, totaling 102 titles, to Hearst Corporation for €651 million. The transaction included a Master License Agreement relating to the ELLE trademark in the 15 countries affected by the transfer, in return for which the Group would receive an annual recurring royalty payment. Lagardère would retain complete ownership of its magazine business operations in France and of its ELLE trademark throughout the world. The closing of the transaction remained subject to approval by local partners in certain countries as well as to certain customary governmental approvals and antitrust clearances in certain jurisdictions.

Sale of endurance sports division to WTC

In January 2016, Lagardère sold the endurance sports division to the World Triathlon Corporation. The transaction included the ITU World Triathlon Series races in Hamburg, Abu Dhabi, Kapstadt, Leeds and Stockholm; other running events like the Hamburg-Marathon, Hawkes Bay International Marathon, Marathon de Bordeaux, Queenstown Marathon and The Music Runs; and cycling events like the Cyclassics Hamburg, Velothon Berlin, Velothon Wales, Velothon Copenhagen, Velothon Stockholm and Velothon Stuttgart.

Recent acquisitions

Lagardère Publishing acquired Perseus Books , Bookouture , La Plage , Worthy Publishing Group , Gigamic , Blackrock Games and Short Books . Lagardère Travel Retail completed the acquisitions of Paradies , Hojeij Branded Foods and International Duty Free .

Sale of most of the media assets and sports agency

Since the first half of 2018, a plan to sell the Group's media assets was underway at Lagardère Active. The Group had already divested a large number of assets, including international radio operations, the main digital assets , and the interest in Marie Claire. In 2019, Lagardère finalised the sale of most of the magazine publishing titles in France, the TV businesses, the stake in Mezzo and Disney Hachette Presse.The Lagardère group finalized the sale of 75% of Lagardère Sports to Hamburg-based private equity firm H.I.G. Capital on April 22, 2020.In May 2020, the Group resisted a demand for the replacement of most of the board members, submitted by Amber Capital, its new largest shareholder. In August, peer French media conglomerate Vivendi raised its stake in the Group to 23.5%, the highest among all shareholders, including Amber . It made a pact with the fund in which the two jointly requested four seats, three for Amber and one for Vivendi, on the board.In November 2020, Lagardère Studios was sold to Mediawan.In July 2021, Lagardère Sports was fully divested by the sale of remaining 25% to H.I.G. Capital.

Self censorship

In 2022 the Financial Times reported that the Lagardère Group's Octopus Books had censored references in books to issues seen as sensitive in China, including information about Taiwan. One book had an entire section about Taiwan cut. The censorship was implemented to allow Octopus to continue to use low cost Chinese book printers.

The group's mission is to create opportunities through innovation and diversification and to help foster an entrepreneurial spirit among its thousands of employees all over the world.

Groupe Lagardère strives to remain a leader in its core businesses, while diversifying its activities through growth and innovation.

Key Team

Ms. Sophie Castellan (Group Accounting Director)

Mr. Emmanuel Rapin (Head of Financing & Investor Relations and Group Treasurer)

Mr. Eric Thomas (Gen. Counsel)

Mr. Jean-Pierre Elkabbach (Head of Lagardère News)

Mr. Jerome Bella (Station's MD of Audiovisual Bus. (Europe 1) & Director of Lagardere Active Broadcast)

Mr. Ramzi Khiroun (Chief of External Relations Officer)

Jimmy Desmarais (Co-Managing Director of Lagardère Studios)

Recognition and Awards
Groupe Lagardère has received the France Digital Awards Best Multimedia Performance Award and the Best in Innovation Award from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Groupe Lagardère
Leadership team

Mr. Arnaud Lagardere (Chairman & CEO)

Mr. Pierre Leroy (Deputy CEO & Board Advisor)

Ms. Sophie Stabile (Group CFO & Member of Management Board)

Products/ Services
Content, Media and Entertainment, Sports
Number of Employees
20,000 - 50,000
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Above - 1B
Traded as
Sat Feb 24 2024

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