The Belgian group Roularta will sell all its French press publications (L’Express, L’Expansion, L’Etudiant, Point de Vue…..) to Patrick Drahi, head of the Altice (SFR) telecom empire. He is also the principal shareholder of Libération, we learned from a source close to the case. Quoting on Roularta Media Group shares was suspended at 9am on Thursday at the Brussels Stock exchange, while everyone waited for a press release to be published. By buying the 5th French magazine pole, Patrick Drahi and his associate Marc Laufer will create a large new media group which will be renamed Altice Media Group. They want to spread into audiovisual and digital, and go international.
When asked, the Roularta Group and Patrick Drahi and Marc Laufer’s entourage had no comment to make. Up until now, the Roularta Group, who wanted to get rid of the non-profitable pole, were only planning to sell L’Express and L’Expansion to Patrick Drahi and hang on to the more profitable titles like L’Etudiant and the salons organized by the magazine.
In the end, Drahi and Laufer will take over 20 titles which had been under the L’Express-Roularta Group. They are: the weekly paper L’Express, the monthly papers and magazines L’Expansion, Live, Classica, Lire, Pianist, Mieux Vivre Votre Argent and Studio Cine Live, the professional salons Job Rencontres, the Distrijob and lentreprise.fr websites, the L’Etudiant group and its salons, the Point de Vue magazine and its attachements Histoire and Images du Monde, the decorating magazines Côté Sud, Côté Ouest, Côté Est, Côté Paris, Maison Française Magazine, and Décoration Internationale, the cooking magazines Zeste, as well as the Côté Sud and Côté Ouest salons, and finally the free weekly magazine “A Nous Paris” and the monthly magazines “A Nous Lille”, “A Nous Lyon” and “A Nous Marseille”.
The Roularta French magazine pole employs 720 people today, among them 300 journalists, freelancers and internes. Patrick Drahi’s new media group, presided by Bernard Mourad, will also include Libération, the continuous Israeli news channel i24 and the professional titles belonging to Marc Laufer’s NewsCo group.