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French media and tech giant Lagardere has made its first online pureplay acquisition in a while, kickstarting its promised M&A activity in the space: it has bought a 75.2 percent stake in French online news service Newsweb for about $100 million. It paid a premium of 10.5 percent over the average share price over one month of Newsweb, which is currently quoted on Euronext’s Alternext market in Paris. The company will also make a bid for rest of the shares.
In 2005, Newsweb had sales of Euro 6.7 millin and EBITDA of Euro 1.5 million and in the first half of 2006 sales totaled Euro 4.3 million and EBITDA of Euro 1.3 million. It has sites in three areas: sport, cars and the stock market. It operates five websites: Sports.fr, Sport4fun.com, Football.fr, Autonews.fr and Boursier.com. In the first half of 2006, 57% of revenues came from ad sales, and 43% from the sale of content to third-party distributors.
Some more details in the release here.
Also, in related news, Lagardere has merged its sprawling and confusing divisions Hachette Filipacchi Medias and Lagardere Active, to form a new worldwide media division covering press, radio, TV and digital technology. The new entity, named Lagardere Active Media, aims to “become a worldwide ‘brand factory,’ eventually able to cover all aspects of multimedia and multigeography targets and markets,” the company said. This means that finally, HFM as a name will be retired…the new company org chart is here.
— Lagardere Restructures Media; Internet M&A Possible In U.S.
— Lagardere May Spend $5 Billion on M&A; Digital Media Unlikely