News: Media-Participations Buys Depuis posted June 25, 2004
June 25 -- Media Participations, the owner of the Dargaud-Lombard album line of French bande dessinee, announced its purchase of the Dupuis line from Belgian financier shareholder Albert Frere and his holding company CNP. American audiences may know Dupuis as the publisher of Spirou Magazine, and the home of such album series favorite characters as Gaston Lagaffe, Lucky Luke, and Winch Largo. These albums will join an already major array of comics lines that includes such groups as Lucky Comics and the Blake and Mortimer books. Sales from Media-Participations' BD groups are with the addition of Dupuis expected to exceed $300 million Euros ($370 million USD) in 2004.
In making its purchase known, Dargaud representatives stressed the advantage the newly constituted publisher will enjoy in terms of its business operations, including consolidation of mail order and a more sizeable catalog to offer to productions in other media. Dupuis is expected to continue to perform as an independent editorial entity under its new ownership. The move of the last Belgian-owned line to full French ownership marks the end of an era in European comics.