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Paris, December 12, 2008

Hachette Livre acquires a controlling interest in Editions Albert Rene, publisher of the Asterix series

Hachette Livre has bought Albert Uderzo’s 40% shareholding in Editions Albert Rene (held through Syadal) plus the 20% share held by Anne Goscinny, daughter of Rene Goscinny.

Editions Albert Rene, publisher of the Asterix books after Mr Goscinny's death, also holds all subsidiary rights associated with the characters and works, along with audiovisual rights.

In addition, Hachette Livre has bought the worldwide publishing rights from Ms Goscinny and Mr Uderzo for the 24 Asterix books published during Mr Goscinny's lifetime, for the full term of their authorial and artistic copyright.

Says Mr Uderzo: “Given my age, I decided it was time to consider the future of the works I created with my friend, Rene Goscinny. I had to entrust the keys to a major publisher that was financially sound, known for respecting its authors’ moral and proprietary rights, well acquainted with our body of work and in a position to ensure its international reputation and longevity. Hachette Livre will meet all these requirements.

Ms Goscinny adds: “I want Asterix, created by my father and Albert Uderzo, to continue captivating generations of children and adults to come. This decision is the best way of ensuring that the books live on. I feel I have a moral duty toward them, and I am sure that Hachette Livre will honour this and carefully watch over our little hero.

Arnaud Nourry, chairman and chief executive officer of Hachette Livre, sums up: “Hachette Livre's teams are very proud to be entrusted with this popular-culture mainstay, which transcends countries and generations. I have promised Albert Uderzo and Anne Goscinny that Asterix will still be a star 100 years from now.

Isabelle Magnac, chief executive officer of Hachette Illustré, was today appointed managing editor of Editions Albert Rene.

Hachette Livre is part of Lagardere Publishing, one of the Lagardere Group's four main entities and France’s leading publishing group. It also ranks second worldwide in consumer publishing, with 100 publishing brands throughout the world. Lagardere Publishing produces books for all consumer segments, including the general-interest, educational, illustrated, practical, tourism, youth and serial book markets. Certain key English- and Spanish-speaking regions (USA, the UK and Australia; Spain, Mexico and Argentina) account for some 65% of Hachette Livre’s sales.

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