Lagardere to Acquire Time Warner Book Group
NEW YORK -- Lagardère SCA will acquire Time Warner Book Group, the fifth largest U.S. book publisher for $537.5 million. Through this transaction, Lagardère's Book Publishing branch will become No. 3 worldwide.
This is a major step in fulfilling a Lagardère objective to create a balanced portfolio in three main languages, French, English and Spanish.
Time Warner Book Group is a major trade publisher, with many best-selling authors, including Nelson DeMille, Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson, David Baldacci and Malcolm Gladwell. Besides adult trade, it publishes illustrated, religious and children's books and has also developed an audio-book imprint.
Time Warner Book Group is an important distributor for third party publishers, such as Disney and Microsoft.
Time Warner Book Group also operates in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, positioning the Lagardère Book Publishing unit, with Arnaud Nourry as president and CEO, as a leading publisher in each of these three countries.
"This acquisition of the Time Warner Book Group represents an ambitious strategic move for our book publishing operations, which have proven to be a source of revenue growth and improved profitability," says Arnaud Lagardère, general and managing partner of Lagardère. "It shows my willingness to develop our book publishing unit, to expand in the U.S.--core market for the media industry--and my personal confidence in Arnaud Nourry. I welcome the people of the illustrious Time Warner Book Group. Their new home is dedicated to the values of the book publishing industry and, with Arnaud Nourry as their leader, they will be in very good hands."
"This is a terrific transaction that is the right thing to do for both the Time Warner Book Group and our shareholders," says Dick Parsons, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner. "With its record-breaking performance in 2005, the Book Group is at the top of its game. To build on this success, however, it needs the scale and other advantages that come from being part of a larger, more global book publisher. This transaction also underscores our commitment to a strategy of managing closely related, industry-leading businesses to maximize shareholder returns. We wish our Time Warner Book Group colleagues continued success and the best of luck at their new home."