There is no conflict with Arnault By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Arnaud Lagardere, the head of French media group Lagardere, arrives to attend the group’s shareholders meeting in Paris, France, May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – Arnaud Lagardere, the CEO of Lagardere, denied on Sunday that he is having a conflict with luxury goods billionaire Bernard Arnault, who recently confirmed he was effectively cutting ties with Lagardere’s personal holding company.

“There is no divorce. On the contrary, we have been discussing it for a few months. Bernard Arnault continues to believe in the future of the Lagardere group, in its ability to bounce back, and in its strategy,” Lagardere said in an interview with weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, which he owns.

“The best proof of his trust is that Financière Agache stays in the capital of the Lagardere group…Our relations are excellent. My role is now to make sure he makes gains on his investment,” he added.

Arnault came to Lagardere’s rescue in May 2020 with an investment to help fight off an activist fund and mop up personal debts.

Last week Arnault restructured his holding in the media and publishing group, however, becoming a straightforward shareholder with a 10% stake rather than an investor in Lagardere’s personal holding company.

Lagardere told the weekly that the scope of the Lagardere group would remain “intact”.

“We will keep all the assets and expand them … This group will experience an historic rebound after a phase of reconstruction and shareholders’ instability,” he added.

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