A specialist in audiovisual distribution and production (including dramas and comedies, studio-based shows and animated programming), live entertainment and audiovisual-rights management, Lagardère Entertainment has announced the acquisition of a 51% majority stake in Electron Libre Productions, a company that specializes in studio-based programming (like newsmagazines and general entertainment), documentaries and special-event production (including recorded concerts).
This acquisition reflects Lagardère Entertainment’s goal of accelerating its development in France and abroad by attracting talented professionals with in-depth knowledge and experience of the fast-changing audiovisual scene.
Founded in July 2003 by Yannis Chebbi and Michael Kazan, Electron Libre Productions acquired experience in developing ambitious, large-scale audiovisual projects. At the same time, it made the development of innovative, creative techniques to respond to the audiovisual sector’s new quality and cost requirements a top priority. Electron Libre intends to boost its market position while building on already close relationships with a full range of strategic partners.
Electron Libre has also focused on boosting international expansion, particularly in North Africa and Arabic-speaking countries in general, a market for which it currently produces several programs and themed newsmagazine shows.
Arnaud Molinié, Chairman and CEO of Lagardère Entertainment, says, “I am delighted that Yannis and Michael are joining us. Their company focuses on generating fresh ideas and is among the most dynamic and creative players on the current audiovisual scene. This step represents a critical stage in their company’s development, and I hope that their relationship with Lagardère Entertainment will allow them to concentrate on the fundamentals of their business so that they can continue to offer innovative, high-quality content while contributing to the development of creative programming in France. Our collaborative efforts will also enable us to undertake major future projects in emerging countries, particularly in fast-growing North-African and Middle-Eastern markets.”
About Electron Libre Productions
Electron Libre Productions works with various terrestrial and cable channels in France and North Africa on the production of documentaries, themed newsmagazine shows, short programs and recorded concerts. It also produces bold, groundbreaking programming on themes that include the mixing of cultures and intercultural communication. With the goal of reaching as many people as possible, Electron Libre Productions also strives to appreciate culture in all its diversity, through:
High-quality documentaries, like the “Hôtels Particuliers” collection, broadcast on the TV5 Monde, Odyssée and Histoire channels; two biographical portraits – “Sonia Rykiel, l’intranquille” and “Jean d’Ormesson, la vie ne suffit pas” – directed by Frédéric Mitterrand and shown on France 5 as part of the “Empreintes” series; and “Diversité,” a documentary broadcast on NRJ12.
The production of two ambitious music events, to be repeated in 2009: “M6 Live Issy-les-Moulineaux,” and the “Concert for Tolerance,” which was recorded in Agadir, Morocco and broadcast on TF1, TV5 Monde, NRJ 12 and TV2M.
Documentary productions, including Frédéric Mitterrand’s blockbuster film “Farah” (broadcast on 21 February 2009 on France 3), which recounts the extraordinary destiny of Empress Farah of Iran; several documentary collections are also in the works, including the “Villages et terroirs de France” series and a series devoted to the great libraries of France.
Production of “Et toi, tu fais quoi?” (“What are you doing to help?”), a series of public-interest programs devoted to the environment, broadcast on NRJ12.
“Sur le Net” (“On the Web”), a daily show on France 24, which has just celebrated its second anniversary.
About Lagardère Entertainment
Founded in 2008 and headed by Arnaud Molinié, Lagardère Entertainment is the Lagardère Active subsidiary responsible for all operations relating to audiovisual production, live entertainment and rights management on behalf of the Lagardère Group. France’s second-largest audiovisual production group (producing comedies and dramas, studio-based shows and animated programming), its production units include Angel, Atlantique, Aubes-Telmondis, DEMD, GMT, Image & Compagnie, Léo Vision, Maximal, Merlin and Timoon, plus distribution unit M5/EuropeImages and music publisher Editions Musicales François 1er. Lagardère Entertainment has become a major player in the production and management of creative content.