Blue Equity, LLC and Lagardere SCA announced today that the newly branded Lagardere Unlimited (www.lagardere-unlimited.com) has acquired BEST (Blue Entertainment Sports Television), the sports and entertainment affiliate owned and operated as a portfolio company of Blue Equity, LLC.
BEST is a unified, full-service sports and entertainment marketing, management and production firm. Since its initial acquisition of the tennis, events and television/media divisions from Live Nation (NYSE-LYV) in August 2006, and through its multiple acquisitions thereafter in football, college sports, basketball and experiential properties, BEST quickly established itself as one of the world’s leaders in the sports and entertainment management industry.
Formerly headquartered in Louisville, KY, BEST currently has several offices, including locations in New York City, Beverly Hills and Washington, DC. Its client roster consists of more than 400 professional athletes, entertainers and media personalities. Furthermore, BEST produces, owns and operates several high profile signature events and retains the television, production and distribution rights to several major sporting events worldwide. Through its experiential properties division, BEST also owns and operates renowned grassroots participatory sporting events throughout the U.S.
Lagardere SCA (PAR-MMB) is a leading global media group operating in more than 40 countries with 30,000 employees and is based in Paris, France. The Group is organized according to four distinct, complementary business lines, including Lagardere Active (owner of Hachette Filipacchi), Lagardere Publishing, Lagardere Services and Lagardere Unlimited (formerly known as Lagardere Sports). A specialist in the sports economy, Lagardere Unlimited has become a major player in the market through the integration of a portfolio of world-class companies: Sportfive, IEC in Sports, Upsolut, PrEvent and World Sport Group. Lagardere Unlimited specializes in the management of media and marketing rights, the organization of events and also owns and operates several major sporting events.
“When we first began assembling this sports platform, our goals and objectives have been to build one of the most powerful sports and entertainment management and production companies in the world. Those goals and objectives have not changed and, today, we find ourselves closer than ever to reaching that status. I’m very pleased about our firm’s international position, and with the Lagardere acquisition, I am excited for what the future holds for our clients, partners and employees,” said Jonathan S. Blue, Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC.
Arnaud Lagardere, Chairman of Lagardere SCA and CEO of the new Lagardere Unlimited added: “With the acquisition of BEST and the rebranding to Lagardere Unlimited, we are able to gain immediate market share in the representation and production sector and follow a direct path to continue with a goal of being the world leader in five years.”
The strength of the BEST platform, the experience of its key personnel and the depth of its North American presence provides Lagardere with an excellent vehicle for continued rapid growth and expansion. The acquisition of BEST, coupled with Lagardere’s deep resources and leadership in global sports media, marketing and production immediately establishes Lagardere Unlimited as one of the preeminent sports companies in the world.