One year after its entry into Lagardère’s capital, and after several months of speculation, Vivendi finally announced a full takeover of the group.
Companies: Lagardere SCA (MMB:EPA)Lagardere SA (MMB:PAR)
While the transformation of the group from a limited partnership with shares to a public limited company seemed to put an end to capital movements, the situation is changing again…
Lagardère has signed an agreement with JD.com and JIC for a minority stake in Lagardère Travel Retail Asia, as part of a strategic partnership in Asia.
Lagardère announced that Hachette Book Group, the US subsidiary of Hachette Livre, has signed an agreement to acquire the US independent publisher Workman Publishing.
Lagardère published satisfactory H1 21 results, driven by the record performance of its Publishing division. Although still penalised by COVID-19, Travel Retail benefited from a gradual return of domestic air traffic, notably in the US and China. Overall, management expects a good year in 2021 despite uncertainties related to the Delta variant.
Lagardère registered poor Q1 21 underlying revenues trends as Travel Retail continued to be badly hit by travel restrictions linked to COVID-19.
Unsurprisingly, no precise FY21e guidance was communicated due to the highly uncertain environment. Further cost-cutting measures are obviously being pursed.
Lagardère’s share price rose yesterday after the group confirmed plans to become a limited company. Discussions are ongoing in this respect between the company and its main shareholders. The change in legal structure would be a game-changer, causing Arnaud Lagardère to lose absolute control of the group.
Lagardère reported very poor FY20 results as expected. The Travel Retail division, which fell more sharply than anticipated, continues to weigh on results. By contrast, the Publishing division limited the damage with a better-than-expected performance. The group loss reached €660m (FY19: €-15m).
Although Arnaud Lagardère indicated that no decision has been taken regarding potential disposals, he was rather open to a modification of the “commandite” structure.
Lagardère reported poor Q3 20 underlying revenues trends as Travel Retail continued to be badly hit by travel restrictions linked to COVID-19.
The group gives no specific FY20e guidance but still estimates Travel Retail’s recurring EBIT “in the region of 20% to 25% of the decrease in its revenue” while Publishing is now “in the region of 20% to 30%” (versus 25% to 30%).
No other figures communicated at this stage of the year and uncertain trends anticipated for Q4.
Companies: Lagardere SA
An endless speculative game is taking place around Lagardère, currently boosting the share price.
Less than two weeks after Group Arnault took a 5% direct stake in the group, Vivendi (now 26.66% of the capital and c.20% of voting rights) said it plans to keep buying shares and is open to acquiring the activist fund Amber Capital’s stake in the company. Group Arnault announced a few hours later owning a 6.69% stake in the group…
Lagardère’s share price is up more than 30% this morning after Group Arnault announced it had taken a 5% direct stake in the group. The speculative battle is at its height with a number of players around.
Unsurprisingly, Lagardère#s Supervisory Board rejected a Vivendi and Amber Capital request for an Extraordinary General Meeting. As already widely expected, the latter now intends to go to court in order to obtain satisfaction.
On the pretext of the COVID-19 context, and coming just a few days after Vivendi and Amber announced they were joining forces, Lagardère announced a new “strategic roadmap”, an extended management team and the early renewal of Arnaud Lagardere’s mandate as managing partner for four years ahead of the next deadline of next March 2021… an unexpected move made without minority shareholders’ approval.
Vivendi and Amber Capital, the first and second largest shareholders of Lagardère, have decided to sign a pact and will seek a minority Supervisory Board representation. Speculation is continuing around the share.
Very poor H1 20 results with total revenues down 38% organically as the Travel Retail division was badly hit by travel restrictions linked to COVID (-55%). Consolidated recurring EBIT recorded a €218m loss i.e. a €306m decline of which €255m attributable to Travel Retail. The group loss reached €481m (H1 19: +€52m).
Still highly uncertain H2 20 outlook namely for Travel Retail (59% of FY19 total revenues and c.40% of adjusted OP). We expect further downgrades to our forecasts.
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