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Exclusive: Marietton Group is going to take over the Havas network!

The group is growing to a network of 470 agencies


The rumor had been spreading for a while now: the Marietton Group was in deep negotiations for the acquisition of the Havas Voyages network. This is now almost a done deal, even though the “official” signature will only take place next November.



The network of sales outlets of Havas Voyages was bought out by the group Marietton - Photo DR
The network of sales outlets of Havas Voyages was bought out by the group Marietton - Photo DR
By the time we published this article, the different Works Councils and Unions of the implicated companies have been informed.

Havas Voyages, with 850 million euros in revenues and 800 employees, will be integrated to the Marietton Group, headed by Laurent Abitbol.

Without knowing all of the details, our colleague Tour Hebdo had speculated this much last July.

Thanks to this acquisition, Marietton will become a considerable force within French distribution, with a total of 470 agencies. Havas Voyages has 250, of which 80 are franchised, all taken over by the group of Laurent Abitbol.

In fact, the “franchised” companies should be particularly “spoiled” by the Marietton Group that never hid its desire to actively work with them!

The Havas brand finally ceded by TUI!

It is worth highlighting that this could give wings to the Selectour Afat network of which Laurent Abitbol, with his company, has been a rather active member.

In fact, it is regrettable that he was snubbed by voters in the last elections of the grouping. An administrator of this size shouldn’t be overlooked especially since new operational synergies will arise from this new acquisition.

To get back to the buyout, what will happen of the brand, owned by the TUI group and of which its France President, Pascal de Izaguirre, had confessed “being unaware of”?

According to our information, it is Havas’ retailer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), that “takes care of everything.” A “deposit” would supposedly have already been paid to TUI and the balance would be included in the sale price agreed on between Carlson and the Marietton Group.

We couldn’t reach Laurent Abitbol who, understandably, does not wish to comment before the case is officially closed.

But it does seem that the deal is almost done and the definitive signature will take place next November.

Marietton/Havas: vive la France!

However, it would be interesting to know a bit of Laurent Abitbol’s new strategy, since he had admitted to us, before the summer, that his position was that of an “organizer.”

It is true that this year has been marked by a good number of acquisitions on his part: the Préférence network of François-Xavier de Boüard, followed in May by the buyout of the Voyages Auchan network, and finally the take-over of the Havas Group.

Not bad for a company that in 2007 declared revenues of €25 million and that, according to financial experts, now weighs around 1.3 billion euros!

Now all of this needs to be rationalized. It seems that, little by little, everything is in order of battle. Even the group Ailleurs, bought out in 2012, and that had been difficult to render profitable, has reached balance this year.

And, casually, while it is praised to “buy French products”, Marietton may be concluding this deal with the Americans of Carlson but that doesn't mean it won't be wearing the colors of France loud and proud.

Finally, one last important detail, the leadership of Havas Voyage stays the same and benefits from Laurent Abitbol’s full trust.

Michel Dinh, who according to our sources, was one of the strongly implicated craftsman of this operation, is keeping his position as Executive Director.


The only question marks remains the price of the purchase that will be extremely difficult to know. We can only assume that a company that makes money isn’t sold for a few coins.

In business, gifts are uncommon…

Written by Dominique Gobert translated by Joséphine Foucher the 02/09/2015
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