Webedia : FIMALAC : Exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake in the capital of WEBEDIA Group


L’éditeur de Purepeople et Puremedias, affichant près de 20 M€ de revenus, cède la majorité de son capital à Fimalac qui le valorise 70 M€.
Envisageant une levée de fonds minoritaire ou une cession, Webedia s’est finalement orienté vers la seconde option. Accompagné dans ce processus par Rothschild l’éditeur de presse féminine en ligne, qui avait mandaté Clipperton pour suivre les offres minoritaires, cède le contrôle à Fimalac. Le groupe coté de Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière valorise l’entreprise 70 M€. L’opération, portant surmoins de 60 % du capital selon nos sources, voit les fondateurs Cédric Siré et Guillaume Multrier, qui s’engagent à rester au moins cinq ans, céder la moitié de leurs parts. Les trois fonds présents, Ventech (dont la participation est trois fois supérieure aux autres), Xange PE et Idinvest, dont certains avaient des contraintes de liquidité, restent également en partie au capital.

Près de 20 M€ de chiffre d’affaires en 2012
L’éditeur de site comme Purepeople et Puremedias, qui avait réuni 3,5 M€ en 2008 auprès de ce trio de VCs, avait construit son essor en partie par acquisitions, dont celle du guide d’achats Shopoon et plus récemment de Canalblog. En 2012, il affiche unecroissance de 80 % de son chiffre d’affaires à près de 20 M€. Afin de la poursuivre, Webedia mise désormais sur les autres activités de Fimalac, dont celles de producteur de spectacles et d’artistes. “Fimalac nous apporte d’avantage que de l’argent, en nous permettant par exemple d’élargir nos sources de revenus, centrés jusqu’ici sur la publicité, à la vente de billets. Il mêle l’avantage d’un financier aux synergies d’un industriel”, assure Cédric Siré.
Terrafemina rejoint également Fimalac
L’acquéreur, qui n’est plus majoritaire dans l’agence de notation Fitch depuis un an, s’offre par ailleurs TFco, éditeur de Terrafemina.com. Le nouvel ensemble, dirigé par la fondatrice de ce site Véronique Morali et les deux dirigeants de Webedia, aura quatre activités en plus de l’édition de sites : opérations spéciales publicitaires, prospection pour les e-commerçants, le conseil, et enfin la production de contenus et le “pilotage de communautés” pour les marques et les entreprises. 

Baptiste Rubat du Mérac
Today, FIMALAC has announced that it is going to acquire the majority of the capital of the digital media group Webedia, which it will consolidate with the company TFco (terrafemina.com and TFco’s advisory structures), previously transferred.
FIMALAC will then arrange for financing of EUR20 million to be provided to the new unit to speed up its development in France and internationally.
WEBEDIA was formed in 2008 and is the 10(th) largest French media company on the internet, combining leading companies in their respective sectors, such as purepeople.com, puremedias.com, and the more recently launched puretrend.com and purebreak.com. WEBEDIA’s sites have a constantly increasing audience, now amounting to 10 million unique visitors per month. WEBEDIA has also recently launched its sites in Russia and Brazil, where the business is developing very rapidly. It achieved revenues of nearly EUR20 million in 2012, growing by more than 60% in the first months of 2013.
By combining the audiences and expertise of WEBEDIA and TerraFemina, the new WEBEDIA will effectively be positioned as the new co-leader in terms of women’s targets. Its business, apart from the publication of theme-based sites, will be structured around four business lines: special advertising operations, canvassing for e-traders, consultancy, delegated production of content and the management of communities for brands and companies (“brand publishing”).
The new unit will be managed by a management board comprising Veronique Morali, Chairman, and Cédric Sire and Guillaume Multrier, co-founders of WEBEDIA. Marc de Lacharrière will be the Chairman of the Group’s Supervisory Board.
FIMALAC is thus reinforcing its position in the media and entertainment sectors in which it has already developed many businesses in the production of artists and shows and in the distribution of shows.
Commenting on the operation, Marc de Lacharrière, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FIMALAC, said: “The acquisition de WEBEDIA, which in barely 5 years has succeeded in positioning itself among the leading French digital media companies, will provide us with unique know-how in the information and digital domain. The Group will benefit from a presence throughout the value chain: production, distribution, and now sale, as well as the advertising and promotion of entertainments thanks to the expertise and digital know-how of WEBEDIA, whose sites deal daily with artists’ news.”
For Cédric Siré and Guillaume Multrier, the founders of “the acquisition of a majority of the capital of our Group by FIMALAC, whose ambition is to integrate the whole media and entertainment value chain, and which has substantial financial resources, represents an exceptional opportunity to speed up our development. Thanks to this operation, we will be able to strengthen WEBEDIA’s position as a leader among digital media companies and to continue with the Group’s development both in France and internationally”.