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The Deutschland Tour and the Hamburger Cyclassics have now become French ... or not?!

Added: wednesday 31 October 2007 at 1:14:00
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    The Deutschland Tour and the Hamburger Cyclassics have now become French ... or not?!The German newspaper Der Spiegel announced last Saturday (27 October) that the Deutschland Tour and the Hamburger Cyclassics had become French since its owner would have been sold to a French company ... in a press release published yesterday (the 29th) its owner however said this information was incorrect.

    UPDATE Wednesday 14 November 2007: today Lagardère officially announced it will take over Upsolut Sports AG

    The Deutschland Tour - in August this year won by Jens Voigt - and the Vattenfall Cyclassics are both owned by a German company which is called Upsolut Sports AG.

    This company also organises a triathlon which is called Hamburg City Man and it also organises the marketing activities of the Hamburg Freezers ice hockey team and the merchandising activities around the FC St. Pauli football team.

    According to the article in the Der Spiegel newspaper (PDF copy ) published last Saturday the French Groupe Lagardère would have bought this company for a two-digit million euros amount and would thus be the new owner of these two cycling races.

    For its daughter company Lagardère Sports, the Groupe Lagardère has already bought the companies SportFive - which markets marketing and broadcasting rights for sports events (especially football) - and Newsweb - a French company which creates and markets media targeted on men such as the Sports.fr website - in 2006.
    Besides these two companies, the Groupe Lagardère also owns 25% of the shares of Editions Philippe Amaury, which is known for its Parisien newspaper Le Parisien and its national counterpart Aujourd'hui en France, but of course also for its daughter company A.S.O. which among other races and sports activities organises the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, ...

    This new purchase by Lagardère would therefore not only be an extension to Lagardère's activities in cycling but also bad news for UCI which continues to try to save its ProTour but has to fight since its creation against the organisers of the big Tours (A.S.O. for the Tour de France, RCS for the Giro d'Italia and Unipublic for La Vuelta a España). Indeed, with the Deutschland Tour in the Groupe Lagardère and with the existing links between Lagardère and A.S.O. it could very well be possible that this Tour would also become anti-ProTour ...

    However, all these conclusions now seem to be premature since Upsolut Sports AG published a press release last Monday (PDF copy ) in which the company denies this information and says that if there would be such a change it would of course communicate on it in an open and transparent way as it's - according to its own press release - used to do ... The company seizes the occasion to state that it is definitely not in financial trouble and that earnings of its different events, especially the cycling events, would have been higher in 2007 than they were in 2006 or in 2005.

    If you ask me ... I think this story is to be continued!

    Groupe Lagardère, Upsolut Sports AG, A.S.O., UCI ProTour

    On Wednesday November 14th the story indeed continued because Lagardère today announced it will indeed acquire Upsolut Sports AG through its daughter company Lagardère Sports. In the press release we read that Upsolut has 40 employees who realise a turnover of 10 million euro. Lagardère didn't announce how much it will pay for Upsolut, but several online sources mention a sum of 10 million euro (however that might be a mistake because it's exactly the same as the turnover).
    Lagardère Sports also bought the Swedish company IEC which detains rights in tennis, soccer and athletics.

    Olivier Guiguet, Lagardère Sports' managing director, said "with Upsolut we'll be able to start the creation of an events branch within Lagardère Sports and there will be lots of synergies between Upsolut and Sportfive and IEC which will allow the company to develop itself".

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 1 comments!
  1. Dans les infos, le Directeur d'Unibet a été libéré. En voilà un qui aperdu son pari ! Je ne sais pas si Lagardère aura plus de chances aux jeux !!

    | Pascal ORSINI | wednesday 31 October 2007 at 2:10:45

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