On June 22, European Investment Fund HLD acquired French software specialist from TF1 Gamned!. The mission of this platform is to analyze website audience data in real time to sell personalized ads. At the same time, the fund managed by Jean-Bernard Lafonta acquired the Repeat media agency. HLD will merge these two companies to create a new communications group called the Biggie Group. Jean-Bernard Lafonta aims to make this new company the leading European company in the field of digital marketing.
In 2018, TF1 Group acquired Gamned! To build strength in programmatic advertising (i.e. automated placement of ads through auction platforms) online and on TV. This adtech asset is integrated into Unify, TF1’s web business unit that aims to enhance its offering in the digital world. But the branch has always struggled to be profitable.
Thus, on May 23, the French audio-visual group Gamned! to the HLD investment fund. “This process will allow Gamned! to continue its development in other growth areas with the support of the resources and knowledge of the HLD Fund”confirms TF1 in a press release.
Included in this resume of activities, founders of Gamned! And Anthony Spinasse and Olivier Gouron, leaving TF1. They are now minority shareholders in the new entity.“There was a desire to restore our independence” Anthony Spence details. “The (planned) convergence of the TF1 and the M6 has played a role in what is happening today. There is a direction the group has taken that is closely related to traditional television and much less digital.”
New group created by HLD
Jean-Bernard Lafonta wanted to kill two birds with one stone by buying the media consulting agency Repeat. It will be collected with Gamened! To form a new contact group: the Biggie Group. According to Les Echos, the cumulative amount of these two operations will reach a few tens of millions of euros.
The Biggie Group is located in Paris and will employ 200 employees for sales of tens of millions of euros annually. Half of its income will come from France, even if the group is located in 8 other countries: Switzerland, Italy, Malaysia, Brazil, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates.
“We felt this was the time to create a large-scale digital agency rich in the technology bricks that complemented consulting activity. The problem of digital marketing is becoming increasingly central and complex at the same time, both for large groups and SMEs,” Cédric Boxberger, partner at HLD notes.
At the moment, the Biggie Group’s client portfolio consists mainly of mid-sized companies. However, there are a few big brands, such as So Bio, But, and Thomson. In the coming months, the new telecom group intends to accelerate the field of mergers and acquisitions. “The adtech market is in full consolidation and HLD has significant resources to support this movement. The idea is to grow our group quickly by integrating companies with a high level of expertise.”Cedric Boksberger concludes.