Founded in 1992 by Hervé de la Martinière, the French publishing company began with a focus on illustrated photography, heritage, art, and leisure books, and has since expanded to general trade books. The company acquired Seuil in 2004.
Publishers under the La Martinière Groupe include Editions de La Martinière, Delachaux et Niestlé, Hermé, Seuil, Points, L’Olivier (90%), Le Sorbier, A.-M. Métailié (80 %), Don Quichotte, Raconter la Vie and it has also minority stakes in Tallandier (27%), Zulma (6%) and Esprit.
Increasingly, a good share of La Martinière’s revenues come from international holdings, namely Abrams (USA) and Knesebeck (Germany).
In early 2010, La Martinière partnered with Gallimard and Flammarion to launch an e-book platform called Eden Livres.
Key company developments in 2013
As a privately owned company, La Martinière releases no other financial information than its annual revenues, which showed steady growth between 2007 and 2010, yet dropped by 9.2 % in 2011 and 9.8% in 2013 against 2012.
The group’s capital received a 138% capital infusion by its holding company to a total of 8 million Euros.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization
In early 2013, La Martinière made an announcement to cut down on new releases by 30% and to lay off 19 of their staff.
In 2011, La Martinière took over the German publisher Knesebeck after holding a majority stake since 2000.
In August 2011, La Martinière signed an agreement with Google to digitize of its out of print catalogue, five years after suing Google for its library digitization efforts.
In July 2011, La Martinière was among the first French publishers to sign up for Apple’s iBookstore.
Key points for analysis & conclusions:
In early 2010, La Martinière moved its headquarters from the center of Paris to new quarters on the periphery of the French capital, and introduced significant cost reduction programs.
In 2009, La Martinière group, together with the French national publisher’s syndicate (SNE), sued Google for illegally digitizing and displaying titles. No final judgement has been issued at this point.
In 2004, La Martinière bought back Seuil publishing house.