For Planeta, 2018 has all of the annus horribilis. The giant Spanish edition, property of the family Lara, has just been through nine months for the less active. Without a doubt, the most restless since the death, at the end of January 2015, the patriarch of the group, José Manuel Lara Bosch. Indeed, the July 30, Planeta announced the sale of Editis, the second set editorial French, to Vivendi for € 900 million, a few weeks after having sold its headquarters iconic in Barcelona.
Bought at Wendel in 2008 to 1,026 billion euros, Editis, which holds, among others, in its midst, Robert Laffont, Plon, Presses de la Cité, Pocket, 10/18, Nathan and Bordas, was the flagship of Planeta. It was to strengthen the “international vocation” of the group, beyond the market to the Spanish – Spain and Latin America, that it has dominated for several years.
The assignment, which must be concluded by the end of the year, will provide a breath of fresh air to the Spanish group, whose debt is estimated at slightly more than 1.2 billion euros, but mostly, Hemisferio, the investment company of Lara, which would have accumulated, it has more than 400 million euros of debt in the wake of the impairment of its investments in the banking group Banco Sabadell, hard hit by the financial crisis of 2008, and it was the main shareholder. Hemisferio was the owner of the headquarters of Planeta, sold for 210 million euros to the american investment fund Blackstone, and 40 % of Editis.
The tone of this year to 2018 has been given in February by the forced departure of José Manuel Lara Garcia, son of the patriarch deceased, who regarded himself as the natural heir of the empire family to the place of his father. The ambitions of Mr. Lara Garcia, 43 years old, who served since 2015 the position of general manager, would not have pleased the president and CEO of Planeta, José Creuheras, a pillar of the house, who has decided, with the support of the rest of the family,…