Pascal Pruet, director of strategy and marketing for the Ebra Group, lists the synergies projects under consideration six months after the completion of the Humanoid Group acquisition.
J.D.N. Six months after the Humanoid group was taken over by Ebra, where are you?
Pascal Pruitt. Our joint history is still very young, but it has already enabled us to confirm the correctness of our decision to join forces. With the founders of Humanoid we have the same vision and the same values. We wanted to provide our readers with realistic, in-depth and interesting content, and our advertisers with offerings that cater to their various communication needs. Humanoid has been able to create high quality special offers and operations using new digital tools such as affiliation and brand content. Within the Ebra group, we can draw inspiration from these different forms of special operations that they were able to set up.
The Ebra Collection collects nine headlines from the regional daily press (PQR). Humanoid brings together two digital and one feminine media professionals. What is the logic of approach?
It is first important to remember the strength of the Humanoid group, which together brings together 12 million unique monthly visitors (Mediametry, Jan., editor’s note) On its three sites, Frandroid, Numerama and Madmoizelle. From the arrival of Philip Carly (Head of the Ibra Group, editor’s note.In 2017, the Ebra Group introduced a vertical development policy. This is the 360-degree content we publish in print, digital, events and services. We did this internally, using content that was already with us, such as health, gastronomy, wine, real estate or cars. The Humanoid acquisition responds to this desire to explore sectors, particularly through their mastery of the subject matter of technology. We can also draw inspiration from their perfect mastery of their economic model.
What synergies do you intend to run?
The Ibra Group positions itself in two ways. Like what Crédit Mutuel is to Ebra, we want to be a contributor that supports and supports our affiliate while allowing it to express its qualities as an affiliate in its own right. But we are also a media group, like Humanoid, aimed at readers and advertisers. So, we have synergies that we share, and we already have a lot of ideas on this point. Humanoid is very strong in affiliation but also on video and social networks. The regional daily press should learn from pure players like Humanoid on these topics. In the other direction, we hope to trade with them in areas that we are very good at, such as events and publishing. We can imagine creating a magazine based on one of the Humanoid titles or organizing a certain number of events around topics they are dear to.
Humanoid is a very profitable group in your opinion, while Ebra managed to raise the bar in 2021. All things considered, is this a way to secure yourself new growth levers?
The first regional daily press group in France with nine titles installed on the entire eastern side of the country (Including Le Républicain Lorrain, Le Dauphiné Libéré and the latest news from Alsace, etc. Editor’s note.), the Ebra group has changed dramatically since the arrival of Philip Carly. I joined in May 2018. Throughout this ‘Season One’ we have focused on developing a cross-culture between the different titles to stop being a conglomerate and become a real group. This involved adopting joint operations and identifying joint commercial and advertising offerings that bring real strength across the group.
We’ve also dramatically changed the way we operate and our print and digital offerings. All these efforts enabled us to return to balance at the end of 2021, after ten years of losses. We lost over 50 million euros in 2017. That’s why we like to say that we attacked this year’s “Season Two”, which relies on various strategic levers, including the acquisition of Humanoid. We want to provide more value-added content to gain a stronger commitment from our readers. It’s also a way for us to get growth drivers that will clearly help develop our Ebitda, but it isn’t. We also need skills and content.