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Altium Capital France aquires Arjil & Associés Banque from Group Lagardère


Corporate & other activities

Paris, December 8th, 2004

Altium Capital France, a member of the Altium Capital Group, an independant investment bank including 15 offices and 150 Corporate Finance specialists in Europe and in the US, announces the acquisition of Arjil & Associés Banque from the Lagardère Group, subject to the lifting of some conditions.

This acquisition, which concerns the mergers and acquisitions and the structured financing activities of groupe Arjil & Associés Banque, involving Arjil & Associés Banque France and Arjil & Cie Espana, will help Altium expand its market position in these areas.

The new structure will be a Société Anonyme Simplifiée (s.a.s.); it will apply for the status of an investment company and will eventually merge with Altium Capital s.a.s. The Chairman will be Wladimir Mollof, current Chairman of Altium Capital in France. Bernard Esambert, current Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Arjil & Associés Banque, will become Chairman of the new Advisory Board to be formed. Henry Bouvatier, Jean-François Court and Christian Formagne, current Partners of Arjil & Associés Banque, will become Partners in the new structure.

Wladimir Mollof, Chairman of Altium Capital France, stated : «I am very glad to welcome this team of recognized professionals, especially on the French market. Our working methods and capabilities are complementary. The Arjil team benefits from a significant experience in aerospace, defence, energy media and communication. Altium’s experience lies in media, communication as well as in retail, information technologies, telecom, healthcare and LBOs. »

The management of Lagardère SCA declared: « We are satisfied to sell Arjil & Associés Banque, since it is not any more part of our core business, to skilled professionals such as Altium Capital. The future and the development of Arjil will thus be ensured.»

Altium Capital, formerly Apax Partners Finance, is an independent investment bank. Present in 15 countries, it offers to customers the whole range of financial advisory and investment banking services: Mergers & Acquisitions, IPOs, Fund raising, Securities, Trading & Research, Asset Management, LBOs. Altium Capital is a Sponsor, Advisor and Broker registered on the London Stock-Exchange, the AIM, the Nasdaq Europe and the Frankfurt.Stock-Exchange. Moreover, Altium Capital France’s subsidiary, Altium Capital Gestion, an independent management company, registered by the AMF as a fund manager of Private Equity, manages a Private Equity fund of funds of 100M€ for a major European institutional investor. The subsidiary is currently launching several funds of funds of the same kind.

Lagardère is a leader in the media sector (books, press, audiovisual and cultural product distribution). The Lagardère group is also present in high technologies through its 15.04% stake in EADS. In 2003 the group’s sales amounted to 12 454 M€ and it employs 43 000 people in more than 40 countries. The Lagardère group is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange (Premier Marché). Lagardère SCA’ advisors for this deal were Messier Partners.

Press Contacts:

Marie-Carole de Groc - 33 (0)1 58 47 95 07

Thierry Funck-Brentano - 33 (0)1 40 69 16 34

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