US-based Carlyle Group’s European private equity division Carlyle Europe has reached agreement to invest in Socpresse of France. Socpresse owns Le Figaro, a leading French daily newspaper.
The agreement will see Carlyle together with a group of EU investors subscribe for 4.9 per cent of the share capital of Figaro Holding, with the balance issued in convertible bonds. If all the bonds were converted, Carlyle and the European investors would each hold a 20 per cent stake of the total share capital. Socpresse, currently the 100 per cent owner of Figaro Holding, would hold the remaining 60 per cent.
Socpresse and Carlyle Europe intend to support the development of the publishing group, with the aim of applying for a stock exchange listing for Figaro Holding in the future.
Says Jean-Pierre Millet, managing director of Carlyle Europe: “Le Figaro has an incredibly sound reputation in France. With one of the country’s leading daily newspapers and a stable of other successful publications, the company offers a significant growth opportunity. It fits perfectly into our investment strategy of identifying strategic joint ventures with industrial partners in selected industry sectors.”