Gallimard was founded in 1911 by Gaston Gallimard, the grandfather of today’s president and CEO Antoine Gallimard, as Les Editions de la Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF). The publisher has been home to many of the most prestigious writers in French literature throughout the 20th century, including Marcel Proust, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, and 2008 Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio. Gallimard’s centenary was widely celebrated with numerous publications and exhibitions in 2010 – 2011. Gallimard’s most popular authors have been Camus (with 29 million copies, including 10 million for L’Etranger (The Stranger), Antoine de Staint Exupery (26.3 million copies, including 13 million of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), and J.K. Rowling (26 million copies for the seven volumes of Harry Potter).
Antoine Gallimard holds 60% and controls 85% of the company with his traditional shareholders.
Groupe Gallimard controls a majority stake in the following publishing houses: Denoël, Mercure de France, Gallimard Loisirs (tourist guides), Gallimard Jeunesse (youth), POL, Éditions de la Table Ronde, Futuropolis, Verticlaes, Alternatives and others, as well as in the distribution services Centre de Diffusion de l’Édition, Sofedis, SODIS and France Export Diffusion. Gallimard also owns six bookstores, including Le Divan (Paris), Librairie Kléber (Strasbourg) and Librairie Gallimard (Paris). Gallimard also has a Canadian subsidiary, Gallimard Limitée, based in Montreal. Gallimard publishes roughly 1,500 titles annually and maintains a backlist of more than 20,000.
Publisher Antoine Gallimard, president of the French publishers’ association from June 2010 to June 2012, continues to keep a high profile in France’s efforts to regulate digital retailing, notably on a law extending the French system of a fixed book price (Loi Lang) to e-books. Gallimard is outspoken on the crucial role of independent publishers in contemporary literature.
Flammarion was founded in 1876 by Ernest Flammarion and was acquired by Madrigal from the Italian group RCS in fall 2012. Directed by Teresa Cremisi as its Président-Directeur-général, Flammarion is active in France, Belgium and Canada, and includes the trade imprints Casterman, Autrement, J’ai lu, Fluide Glacial and Jungle, as well as distribution services for its own titles as well as for Actes Sud, PUF and Le Dilettante.
Madrigall took a majority share of Gallimard in the late 1990s, and the holding company is controlled by Antoine Gallimard and his sister Isabelle. Shares were repurchased from two of Gallimard’s three corporate share holders, the Italian publisher Einaudi and the French media group Havas. Havas was compelled to sell its shares after the Gallimard board ruled that its merger with Vivendi made it a direct competitor. After the repurchase, Madrigal gained a 60% majority holding in the publishing house. Madrigal’s holding increased to 98% in January 2003 when Madrigall repurchased the Gallimard holdings of five other outside shareholders for 92 million EUR. “Having a coherent capital structure will allow us to move at will,” stated Antoine Gallimard. “It has been said that all family run (publishing) companies will disintegrate. We will make proof of the opposite.”
Analysis Key Developments
Neither Madrigall, as the corporate holding, nor Groupe Gallimard, have released any financial statements aside from the total revenues represented in this profile.
In October 2013, following the acquisition of Flammarion from RCS, Antoine Gallimard sold 9.5% of the company’s shares to Bernard Arnaud, CEO of the LVMH luxury goods company, for 30 million EUR.
Group Madrigal controls several distribution platforms, including those for Gallimard and Flammarion, and holds a majority stake in the digital distributor Eden Livres, alongside La Martinière and Actes Sud.