Willkie Advises La Martinière Groupe in its Combination with Média-Participations

January 4, 2018

Multidisciplinary Willkie team represents La Martinière Groupe and its main shareholders in connection with its combination with Média-Participations, creating the third largest publishing group in France.

On December 22, 2017, La Martinière Groupe announced its combination with Média-Participations. The transaction creates of the third-largest publishing group in France and is expected to foster the dissemination of French literature overseas.

Média-Participations (whose brands include Fleurus, Dargaud, Dupuis and Rustica among others) is a French publishing group specializing in comic books, youth literature, and practical guides and code books. It is also active in press and magazine publishing, audiovisual production and video games. La Martinière Groupe (whose brands include Le Seuil, Abrams, Editions de La Martinière and L’Olivier among others) operates in the traditional publishing sector with a strong international footprint accounting for over half of its sales. The new combined entity is expected to generate revenues of over €560 million. The combination involved a recapitalization of La Martinière Groupe and the contribution by the main shareholders of La Martinière Groupe of shares to Média Participations in exchange for shares therein. The contributing La Martinière Groupe shareholders now constitute the second-largest shareholding block in Média-Participations.

The cross-border Willkie team was led by partner Eduardo Fernandez and national partner Brice Pommiès in Paris, and included: Paris - partner Marie-Hélène Raffin, national partner Faustine Viala and associates Mathilde Ayel, Marion Bellemin, Manon Chabbert, Louis Jambu-Merlin and Ralph Unger; Brussels - national partner Didier Willermain and associate Diego Lambrecht; and New York - counsel Jonathan Konoff and associate Agathe Richard.