PARIS — Luxury titan Bernard Arnault is exiting Lagardère Capital, the personal holding company of Arnaud Lagardère.
Financière Agache, the holding company of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman, said in a statement Wednesday that it is selling its entire stake in Lagardère Capital in exchange for Lagardère SA shares.
Financière Agache’s stake in Lagardère Capital stands at 27 percent. Once the operation is finalized, at the latest by early October, Financière Agache will own about 3.9 million shares, or about 9.97 percent of Lagardère SA.
Lagardère SA is the parent company of publishing companies grouped under the Hachette Livre division; a travel retail division, and media interests including Europe 1 radio, Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper and Paris Match magazine.
The news on Wednesday comes one day after Financière Agache said it would sell its remaining stake in the Carrefour Group.
Last year, Arnaud Lagardère had been battling efforts by activist investor Amber Capital and Vivendi, the media group controlled by Vincent Bolloré, to gain board representation. In a bid to reinforce his position, Lagardère enlisted Arnault to buy shares in Lagardère, which he did in May 2020.
That strategy appeared to backfire, as Arnault and Bolloré squared off, with Bolloré reportedly interested in acquiring control of Hachette Liver and Europe 1, and Arnault seen circling Le Journal du Dimanche and Paris Match. LVMH already owns newspapers Les Echos and Le Parisien.
Lagardère in 2019 sold most of its press portfolio to Czech Media Invest, including French Elle, Version Femina, Art & Décoration, Télé 7 Jours, France Dimanche, Ici Paris and Public.
This April, the Lagardère group said it had reached an agreement with shareholders to give up the governance system that had long granted chief executive officer Arnaud Lagardère full control of the company.
Lagardère agreed to dissolve the structure, known as a société en commandite par actions, and replace it with a joint-stock company. In exchange, he received 10 million new shares, equivalent to 7 percent of the group’s capital after their issuance, and was named chairman and CEO for a six-year term.
The deal, under which the main shareholders were given representation on the board, was expected to stave off the prospect of the Lagardère’s dismantling.
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