In a 50/50 joint venture with South African partner Kagiso Media, LARI (Lagardère Active Radio International) announces the acquisition of Acceleration Media, a leading online advertising-media agency.
A leading player in the South African market, Acceleration Media specializes in online media strategy, planning and buying to help advertising agencies and advertisers maximize their Internet use. Its customer portfolio is a veritable Who’s Who of South African business. Currently staffed by a team of 14 Internet specialists, the company saw 40% growth in 2007.
LARI has operated in South Africa for more than 10 years through its participating interests in Jacaranda FM, South Africa’s leading private radio station, and Radmark, the country’s top radio sales-house.
According to LARI CEO Jean-Christophe Lestra, “The acquisition of Acceleration Media reflects our strategy of bolstering our development in growth markets like South Africa, particularly in the digital sphere. This transaction will involve a skills transfer thanks to Lagardère Active’s accumulated experience.”
According to Murphy Morobe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kagiso Media, “For some time now, we have been looking for new opportunities in the digital sphere, which is expanding rapidly in South Africa. The acquisition of Acceleration Media gives us a strategic outlet in one of the digital economy’s most dynamic market segments: online advertising. This deal will also allow us to build our business on a solid foundation of talent in coming years.”
Jacques van Niekerk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Acceleration Media, said the following: “After negotiating with many candidates for acquisition of the company, we are delighted to be 100% consolidated into this Lagardère Active-Kagiso Media structure, which is perfectly in sync with Acceleration Media’s development strategy.”
- LARI has a presence in seven countries through 23 radio stations, which are heard by over 33.5 million listeners per day, and is Eastern Europe’s leading radio station operator.
- Lagardère Active is one of Lagardère SCA’s four major corporate brands, alongside Lagardère Publishing, Lagardère Services and Lagardère Sports. It aims to become a global leader in content production and aggregation for all platforms, with activities that include magazine publishing, radio stations, television channels (production, distribution and special-interest channels), digital media and media buying.
Established in 41 countries outside France, and with some 235 magazine titles, 26 radio stations and 10 TV channels, Lagardère Active generated consolidated sales of 2.329 billion euros in 2007. It is the No. 1 French media group and the 10th-ranked French group in terms of digital audience.
- The Lagardère group also has a presence in the high-tech sector through its 12.51% participating interest in EADS.
Lagardère shares are traded on the Eurolist market of Euronext Paris (Compartiment A).
- Kagiso Media is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange in the media sector. A key player in South African radio, it holds direct interests in Jacaranda (80%), East Coast Radio (100%), OFM (24.9%), Heart 104.9 (33.3%), iGagasi 99.5 (33.3%) and the radio media-buying agency RadMark (50%), plus an indirect interest in Kaya (25.1%).