The Belgium-French group Media Participations is the largest comic book publisher in Europe with roughly 1,000 overall new titles per year including 600 “bandes dessinées,” or comics and annual sales of 25 million volumes including 15 million comic books. The company achieved modest growth in 2013 from the continuous exploitation of previously acquired stocks, as well as strategic investments in digital in house developments.
Média Participation's principal brands are the comic book publishers Dargaud, Dupuis, Le Lombard, Urban Comics and Kana (manga); Citel Video, Dargaud-Marina, Ellipsanime, Dupuis Audiovisuel and Anuman Interactive; children’s book publisher Fleurus; and religion publisher Mame. Cartoon brands include Blake et Mortimer, Lucky Luke, Les Schtroumpfs (Smurfs), Blueberry, the series XIII and Thorgal, and more recent blockbusters such as Isaac le pirate and Blacksad. Citel Video gains multimedia revenue from Astérix, Tintin, Babar, Caroline, and Corto Maltese.
Média Participations also runs its own production studios, resulting in a yearly output of roughly 1500 hours of TV programs, and is involved in other publishing activities such as the magazine Rustica.
The controlling holding company, MP Belgique, is under Belgium law, initiated in 1985 by former long time politician Rémy Montagne, and set up in today’s configuration in 1991 by his son Vincent Montagne, with a vast majority of the shares held by the Montagne family and a minority stake by Axa insurance company.
Média Participations has a staff of roughly 1,000, with offices in France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and the U.S.
Analysis & Key Developments
Media Participations does not release any detailed financial data other than annual revenues, which went up 1% in 2014 from 2013. The group had previously shown modest yet steady organic growth over the past several years.
Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization
The current President and CEO, the son of the company’s founder, took over in 2007. In 2012, Vincent Montagne was elected to be the president of the French publishers association, SNE, to succeed Antoine Gallimard.
Media Participations is continuously increasing its international presence with a focus in 2014 in China with book publishing, cartoons, and educational television programs.