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 (comics) and annual sales of 25 million volumes including 15 million comic books. The company achieved modest growth in 2013 from previously acquired stocks as well as strategic in-house digital 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.
Media Participations is also active in children’s books and television. The company produces a yearly output of 1,500 hours of TV programs through its own studios, and is involved in other publishing activities such as the magazine Rustica.
The controlling holding company, MP Belgique, is under Belgium regulation. The company was founded in 1985 by former 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 1,100 with offices in France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and the U.S.
Analysis & Key Developments
Dargaud, Dupuis, Le Lombard, and Kana together account for 31% of the company’s revenue. Distribution services account for 22%, and audiovisual plus digital add another 15% of turnover.
Since 2014, Média Participations has led France in comic book releases, with 746 new titles in 2016 (16 fewer than the previous year). Dargaud and Dupuis produce the highest print runs.
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, taking over the position from Antoine Gallimard.
Media Participations is continuously increasing its international presence in China with book publishing, and television productions of cartoons and educational programs.