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Lagardère Studios plans European indie M&A

Lagardère Studios, the entertainment division of Lagardère Group, is looking for further external growth in Europe and has a number of active M&A targets, TBI can reveal.

Christoph ThoralThe French independent production group already owns Spanish company Boomerang and its affiliates in Latin America and Italy, but wants to ramp up further, notably in Northern Europe.

Lagardère Studios said it has “active targets” in Scandinavia, Germany and Benelux, among medium-sized, drama and/or entertainment companies. In the UK, Lagardère said it will wait and see what impact Brexit has before investing.

“Lagardère Studios, formerly Lagardère Entertainment, was founded with the idea to invest and back a raft of indie production companies, without stifling them in a unique brand,” Christophe Thoral said.

Thoral is the new CEO of Lagardère’s production and distribution business after Takis Candilis left to join Banijay and oversee its international drama stratey.

“Lagardère Studios is the leading producer in France, and one of the pillars of our growth will be the international development,” Thoral said. “We started with Boomerang, and we plan to build a coherent group with indie production entities in all key European markets.”

Lagardère Studios has a 9,500 hour library. It is also involved in international copros with affiliate Atlantique Productions, which has projects in the works, including Midnight Sun with Nice Drama for SVT and Canal+, and The Django with Cattleya.

In recent years it has extended its activities into Africa, investing into distribution company Diffa and local prodcos.