THE WHAT? Bernaud Arnault has acquired a minority stake in publishing and retail group Lagardère SCA through his Group Arnault holding, according to a report by WWD.com.
THE DETAILS The investment will give ailing company Lagardère breathing space after having to fend off advances from activist investor Amber Capitol.
Group Arnault now holds a stake comparable to approximately one-quarter of the share capital of Lagardère Capital & Management (LCM), Arnaud Lagardère’s holding company, a development which followed a capital purchase and share increase.
Lagardère is active in book publishing under the Hachette umbrella as well as travel retail via Relay, Aelia Duty Free and Vino Volo.
According to a joint statement, both the Arnault and Lagardère families will share the long-term strategic investment for the company.
The joint statement continued, “This linkup will strengthen the corporate structure and financial capacities of LCM. The family groups led by Bernard Arnault and Arnaud Lagardère will act in concert with regard to Lagardère SCA.”
THE WHY? The investment is thought to have been made due to friendship loyalties rather than Lagardère’s financial prospects – Arnault has previously sat on the supervisory board of Lagardère SCA from 2004 to 2012, with Lagardère sitting on the board of directors of LVMH from 2003 to 2009.
Lagardère stated that the pair had an “enduring and productive working relationship.”
Taking to a statement Arnault said, “I have welcomed Arnaud Lagardère’s proposal to join forces with him. My friendship with Jean-Luc Lagardère brought our families together, and I have the utmost respect for the group that he built. I am delighted that we are now, alongside Arnaud Lagardère, a long-term shareholder of the company that bears his name.”