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Arnaud Lagardère up more than ever in the sport business

July 24 category:Businesses
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Arnaud Lagardère up more than ever in the sport business



Arnaud Lagardère announced an overhaul of the sports division of the renamed group

REUTERS / Philippe WOJAZER



Two months after the offensive activist Guy Wiser-Pratte, Arnaud Lagardère takes the initiative. Criticized for the lack of clarity of its strategy and the "mismanagement" of his group, Arnaud Lagardère reaffirms its interest in the sports market by announcing the acquisition of Best, a US company specializing in the representation of athletes, for " tens of millions of dollars. "Meanwhile, he took a 30% stake in the Saddlebrook sports academy that trains players to basketball, American football and baseball. Finally, he unveiled a redesign of its sports division renamed Lagardère Unlimited.

Watch the video: What do the shareholders of the Lagardère strategy



"Sport is an asset to the group because it is a global market, fragmented and growing. It is a real economy and not just a hobby or a fad," pleaded Arnaud Lagardère in a press conference to the circumstance in the premises of Racing Club de France, in the presence of some of the staff of the group - Dominique D'Hinnnin and Pierre Leroy, co-managers of the commandite- Didier Quillot, head of Lagardère Active, not to mention, the communications advisor Anne Méaux.

For those who doubt the advisability of investing in sport, the boss of Lagardère accustomed to estimate the market at $ 70 billion. "If we add the ticket, it even weighs 100 billion," enthuses Arnaud Lagardère without reserve.

"Taking these new investments"

Now present in six trades SportBusiness - marketing, events, academies, athlete representation, consulting and management rights - the group decided to consolidate all its operations in a single entity, called "Lagardère Unlimited" whose operational management will be provided by Arnaud Lagardère himself. "I want to take on these new investments as I once did at Lagardère Active or Club Internet," he explained. Exit Lagardère Sports, headed by Olivier Guiguet far.

Arnaud Lagardère considers to be now able to compete with the sports marketing giant IMG (International Management Group). Nothing less. "We will go with caution. Sport is in our genes as shown by the investment group in motorsport with Matra Sport as early as 60. It is surprising, moreover, that it is not that Jean-Luc Lagardère has launched this business. We are now targeting world leadership in five years. "

Possible release of Amaury

Asked about potential acquisitions, Arnaud Lagardère admitted talked a while with the management of IMG, currently held by an investment fund, but failed to reach agreement. The boss of the eponymous group has also initiated discussions with Marie-Odile Amaury, Amaury group owner, in which it holds a 25% stake. Arnaud Lagardère has never hidden his interest Amaury Sport Organisation (Paris-Dakar Rally, Tour de France, etc.), "But Marie-Odile Amaury, I have to see very soon, meant that all or part of Group was not for sale. See us acquirer therefore more outgoing, "said Arnaud Lagardère. Without excluding other major acquisitions, the boss of the sponsorship nevertheless said he had no plans to invest in editorial content.

Time is no longer sponsorship. Now, support to elite athletes will be included in the results of "Lagardère Unlimited." According to Arnaud Lagardère, the group can take 5 to 20% of all contracts and premiums of an athlete. We remember that the group had its first steps in the sport in 2005 by launching the Team Lagardère whose mission was to build a stable of champions. Anything but a "business unit" whose purpose is to make money.

For example, he had advanced during the last general meeting of the group, the figure of "600,000 to 800,000 euros," the Team Lagardère pays Richard Gasquet and his family. "It is ultimately less rather 300,000 euros in recent years "corrected Monday morning the same Arnaud Lagardère. Decidedly sport and silver are difficult to handle.

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