Lagardère continues strategic refocus with sports unit sale

Lagardère, the French media group that formerly owned channels including leading kids service Gulli but which sold the bulk of its TV business to M6 Group earlier this year, is continuing its strategic repositioning with the likely sale of a 75% stake in its sports events and marketing arm, Lagardère Sports, to HIG Capital in a deal that values Lagardère Sports at €110 million and Lagardère’s overall sports and entertainment business at €150 million.

Lagardère said that the sale of the sports and entertainment business was in line with its strategic refocusing on its publishing and travel retail activities.

The media outfit said that the €110 valuation of the unit from HIG Capital’s offer did not exclude the potential to realise future value from Lagardère’s remaining 25% stake in the unit, or potential gains from its aborted contract with the African Football Confederation.

Lagardère will recognise a depreciation in value of between €210-€240 million thanks to unilateral cessation of that deal.

In May, Lagardère announced a deal to sell its TV channels to RTL-owned M6 Group for €215 million.That deal saw M6 take over flagship kids channel Gulli along with Canal J, TiJi, Elle Girl TV, MCM, MCM Top, RFM TV and associated advertising sales activities. Gulli, seen as the jewel in the crown of the portfolio, recently reported a 16.4% share of the 4-14 year-old audience in France.

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