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Lagardère: Oddo confirms rating on share

( - Groupe Arnault, Bernard Arnault's holding company, has completed the purchase of approximately a quarter of the capital of Lagardère Capital & Management, Lagardère's holding company, Les Echos announced this morning.

The paper reports an investment of around 100 million euros. Lagardère LCM is also merging with ARJIL-ARCO (general partner).

Lagardère LCM would be subject to less financial pressure and may therefore not be forced to change its structure of SCA (cf. partnership limited by shares) into an SA (public limited company) in order to generate a rapid revaluation of the group (and a divestment).

Oddo says that the question of the long-term evolution of Lagardère LCM's capital is therefore the key issue. The other point is that the takeover of Lagardère LCM (and therefore the limited partnership) by Vivendi is now unlikely, Oddo adds.

The broker believes that in the long term, the underlying issue remains that of dismantling, with potential interest from Bernard Arnault (LVMH?) for Lagardère Travel Retail and a "retrieval" of the media division (Hachette) by Vivendi.

Oddo adds that it should be noted that the Arnault family could also be interested in some of Lagardère's media assets - particularly JDD and Europe 1. This would be an opportunity to strengthen the group's media division, i.e. mainly Les Echos and Radio Classique.

Oddo confirms its Neutral rating on the sharee, along with its target price of 16 euros. Note the share is up over 10% at 12.36 euros in mid-morning trading on Monday.

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