Hachette Livre has entered into exclusive negotiations with Blackrock Games’ shareholders with a view to acquiring the majority of their company’s shares.
Blackrock Games, which was founded in 2007 by Alain Ollier and Yoann Laurent, is now the third-largest boardgame distributor in France. It distributes the products of 30 boardgame publishers and its know-how and expertise are recognised by retailers. Altogether, Blackrock brings approximately 90 new releases each year to points of sales, along with a 400-product catalogue. It has achieved solid growth over several years.
The boardgames that Blackrock distributes include, among others, Blanc Manger Coco, Kingdomino (« Spiel des Jahres » 2017), Celestia, Colt Express (« Spiel des Jahres » 2015), Taggle, Feelings, Mr Wolf (« As d’or Enfants 2019), Juduku, Welcome and Cerbère.
In addition, Blackrock Games provides an international delivery service in thirty countries; and it distributes foreign boardgames in France (Detective Club, Skyjo…).The 25 employee-team, passionate about games, is based in Romagnat, near Clermont Ferrand. They will develop independantly, in the way Hachette Livres’ imprints do, contributing to the group’s diversity. Yoann Laurent, supported by Thibaut Quintens and Wladimir Watine, will remain at the head of Blackrock.
Yoann Laurent, Président of Blackrock Games, said: « We are thrilled to be able to accelerate our development with Hachette Livre and thus offer new opportunities to our publishing partners. We will continue to be committed to our teams and to our values. »
With this new investment, Hachette Livre, which acquired Gigamic in January this year, is implementing its strategic decision to explore the family leisure market that is adjacent to book publishing, in particular all the segments of the consumer gaming market.
Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Livre, said: “We are delighted to welcome Blackrock Games, whose know-how is widely appreciated in the world of boardgames. We expect this outstanding team and its leaders to continue the great work they have been achieving so far.”
Hachette Boardgames, within Hachette Livre, is a department dedicated to boardgames. It comprises three entities: Gigamic, led by Stéphane Gires, Studio H, a boardgame design studio led by Hicham Ayoub Bedran, and Funnyfox.
Hachette Livre, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lagardère SCA, is the third-largest trade and educational publishing group in the world, with sales of €2,252 million in 2018. It is # 1 in France, # 2 in the UK, # 3 in Spain and # 4 in the USA. It publishes around 17,000 new titles a year under more than one hundred different imprints in a dozen languages, but mainly in French, English and Spanish. It covers all segments of trade publishing: general fiction and non-fiction, mass market pocket books, books for young readers, illustrated books, travel guides, school books and study guides, as well as partworks. Its headquarters are in Vanves, France.
Press contact: Myriam Simonneaux 00 33 143923420