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Acquisition of Hodder Headline by Hachette Livre successfully closed


Corporate & other activities, Lagardère Publishing

Paris, France, September 24, 2004

Following approval from British competition authorities and from WH Smith’s Shareholders’ Meeting, the acquisition of Hodder Headline by Hachette Livre was finalized on Friday, September 24, 2004 in London.

Led by Arnaud Nourry, Hachette Livre (approximately 1.5 billion euros in sales) is the leading publisher in France and Spain. It will now become the second largest publisher in England. These market rankings meet Arnaud Lagardère’s goal to “be one of the top European publishers and to support our strategic growth in the Book sector, which remains the backbone of the Group”. “This illustrates the coherence and consistency of our strategy for balanced and sustainable growth”, he said last July.

With sales of 229 million euros for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2004, Hodder Headline, the United Kingdom’s fourth largest publisher, is an exceptional strategic opportunity for Hachette Livre. The consolidation of its very balanced business portfolio increases Hachette Livre’s footprint in publishing segments such as Literature, Youth, and Education where it has already started to invest.
After Larousse, Dalloz, Dunod and Armand Colin and Anaya in Spain, this acquisition marks a decisive step for expansion in the English-language market, a key factor for the group’s future growth.

LAGARDERE - Communications Division - tel: 33 (0)1 40 69 16 33

HACHETTE LIVRE - Valérie Bignon - tel: 33 (0)1 43 92 34 18

Investor Relations:

LAGARDERE - Laurent Carozzi - Tel: 33 (0)1 40 69 18 02

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