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Key dates


At the end of World War II, Marcel Chassagny founds Matra (Mécanique Aviation TRAction), a company focused on the defence industry.


Jean-Luc Lagardère becomes Chief Executive Officer of Matra, which has diversified into aerospace and automobiles.


Sylvain Floirat asks Jean-Luc Lagardère to head the Europe 1 radio network.


Jean-Luc Lagardère is appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Matra.


Matra acquires the Hachette group, specialised in book publishing (Grasset, Fayard, Stock, etc.), magazines and newspapers (Elle, Le Journal du Dimanche, etc.) and distribution.

The French State acquires a 51% interest in Matra (excluding Hachette). Europe 1 is sold to the French State via Sofirad. Jean-Luc Lagardère and Daniel Filipacchi are appointed Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hachette


Hachette regains control of Europe 1.

10 February 1988

Matra is privatised.

30 December 1992

Following the failure of French television channel La Cinq, Hachette is merged into Matra to form Matra-Hachette, and Lagardère Groupe, a French partnership limited by shares, is created as the umbrella company for the entire ensemble.


Matra-Hachette is absorbed into Lagardère Groupe, which changes its name to Lagardère SCA.


Aerospatiale Matra is created following the merger of Aerospatiale and Matra Hautes Technologies.


The EADS consortium is formed following the merger of Aerospatiale Matra, CASA and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace.

14 March 2003

Death of Jean-Luc Lagardère.

26 March 2003

Arnaud Lagardère is appointed Managing Partner of Lagardère SCA.


The Group acquires a portion of Vivendi Universal Publishing's French and Spanish assets.


The Group reorganises around four major institutional brands: Lagardère Publishing, Lagardère Services (which became Lagardère Travel Retail in 2015), Lagardère Active and Lagardère Sports (which became Lagardère Sports and Entertainment in 2015).


The Group sells its international magazine operations.


The Group divests its remaining interest in EADS.


Lagardère's acquisitions include production company Grupo Boomerang TV, travel retail firm Paradies and publisher Perseus Books.