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November 13, 2014
Group Larcier acquires Standaard Uitgeverij Professional from WPG Uitgevers België

WPG Uitgevers België and Group Larcier announce today the acquisition by the latter of Standaard Uitgeverij Professional, a division of WPG Uitgevers België, which will be effective as of January 1, 2015. Together they will realise the shared ambition of creating a new generation of professional information to steer the market into a new direction.

This change results from both the ambition of Group Larcier and its owner Ergon Capital Partners to become the leading player on the Belgian market of publishing and digital solutions for professionals, as well as the strategic reorientation of WPG Uitgevers.

The current organisation of Standaard Uitgeverij Professional will, within the combined group, focus on innovative products for financial and HR professionals, whereas Group Larcier will continue developing high quality products for the legal sector. The transaction has no implications on employment, with Standaard Uitgeverij Professional’s headquarter remaining in Antwerp.

Marc-Olivier Lifrange, CEO of Group Larcier: “I am looking forward to welcome Standaard Uitgeverij Professional’s team to our Group. With strong brands such as Larcier, Bruylant and Promoculture, some of which being over 175 years old, and the digital databases Strada Lex, ComptAccount, FiscalNet and SocialWeb, Group Larcier has a strong focus on digital products. As such, the acquisition of Standaard Uitgeverij Professional fits perfectly within our Group’s strategy. It also complements and reinforces our position with professionals in the fiscal and social fields. The collaboration of both teams will enable us to further expand our activities, with the aim of becoming a leading player in the field of professional publishing”.

The strategic choice to focus on three activities, namely books and comic books, education and magazines, was made by WPG some time ago. Despite being successful, our professional department did not fit within our group. WPG wants to continue to invest in among others new opportunities in the aforementioned three activities, such as an indoor theme and amusement park in Antwerp, Comics Station, and a new digital platform for comic books, Yieha. By merging Standaard Uitgeverij Professional within Group Larcier, we guarantee its continuity and give it a promising future within a group where its activities are the core focus, while in parallel, this will provide us with the means needed for new important projects”, Peter Quaghebeur, CEO of WPG Uitgevers België, clarified.

Jeroen Overstijns, Publishing Manager Standaard Uitgeverij Professional: “I am very pleased with this transaction. Lately, our ambition became larger than what we could achieve within WPG. We will therefore part ways, but would like to express our gratitude to WPG for its continued support over time. Over the last years, we opened up the professional publishing market with great success. Our products and services have been improved, without becoming more expensive. Digital innovation and customisation allowed us to outpace the market growth. We are delighted that our entire team transitions and will receive additional responsibilities within a Group that shares the same ambition”.

Pieter Lambrecht, Principal at Ergon Capital Partners, concluded: “After the acquisitions of Bruylant and Promoculuture since 2011, the acquisition of Standaard Uitgeverij Professional represents a new transformational step in the evolution of Group Larcier. It enables the team, headed by Marc-Olivier Lifrange, to make a significant leap forward in terms of digital offering, and to consolidate its presence in Flanders and in the fiscal and social fields. We are thankful to WPG for the positive collaboration and welcome Jeroen Overstijns and his team to the Group”.

About Standaard Uitgeverij Professional

Standaard Uitgeverij Professional develops a new generation of information for professionals in the fields of tax & accounting, finance, HR and care. It creates innovative digital and print products for these target groups. Standaard Uitgeverij Professional’s portfolio consists of software, training, digital databases, magazines, books and other customised products. To this extent, Standaard Uitgeverij Professional relies on an enthusiastic team of authors and own staff operating from Antwerp. For more information, visit www.standaarduitgeverijprofessional.be

About Group Larcier

Group Larcier has its origins in the professional publishing activities of Group De Boeck, a well-known Belgian publisher active in the educational segment. Since its carve-out from Group De Boeck, Group Larcier became one of the leading independent publishers of legal and professional information in Belgium, Luxemburg and France, operating under the renowned brands Larcier, Bruylant and Promoculture. Group Larcier offers an integrated products and services portfolio, combining paper books of reference and magazines with a wide range of digital applications and seminars, and has a broad network of well-known authors. For more information, visit www.larciergroup.com

About WPG Uitgevers België

WPG Uitgevers is an independent group of multimedia companies in the Netherlands and Belgium, focused on the publishing and exploitation of relevant high quality products and services. WPG Uitgevers’ (Weekbladpers Groep) core activities consist of the publication of books for the general market, the publication of magazines and the publication by Zwijsen of educational tools for the primary school segment. WPG Uitgevers België forms an integral part of WPG Uitgevers and will, post this operation, consist of the publishing houses Manteau and Standaard Uitgeverij. For more information, visit www.wpg.be

About Ergon Capital Partners

Ergon Capital Partners is a mid-market private equity investment company backed by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. Ergon invests in leading companies with a sustainable competitive position in attractive niche markets located in the Benelux, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland. Since its inception in 2005, Ergon has invested in 13 companies (of which 4 in the Benelux, 6 in Italy, 1 in France, 1 in Spain and 1 in Germany), with a strong focus on value creation through both organic growth and a buy-and-build strategy. For more information, visit www.ergoncapital.com

Contact person Standaard Uitgeverij Professional   

Contact person Group Larcier

Katie Thys

Elisabeth Courtens



+32 477 27 22 81

+32 472 65 35 02

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