Trace Completes LMBO

Paris - TRACE, the international group of urban media, announces the completion of an LMBO conducted by its management team in associa tion with 2 investment funds: Citizen Capital and Entrepreneur Venture.

TRACE Partners, the newly created acquisition company is joint owned by TRACE key managers, Citizen Capital, and Entrepreneur Venture. TRACE Partners acquired 100% of TRACE TV from Alliance TRACE Media, a Dutch holding company controlled by Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group. Goldman Sachs was advised in the transaction by Willkie Farr and Gallagher law firm.

Olivier Laouchez, Chairman and CEO of TRACE TV, is now the largest shareholder of Trace Partners, and controls 51% of its capital along with TRACE management. Citizen Capital and Entrepreneur Venture hold 49,9% of the new entity. The 2 banks, which financed the transaction, are Neuflize OBC (ABN Amro), and Caisse d'EpargneIle-de-France.

TRACE is one of the very few examples of an independent French audiovisual group to gain international success and recognition. TRACE is the 2nd most watched music channel in France and has more than 20 million subscribers in 150 countries, of which 9 million are in Europe, 6 million in Africa and 1 million in Asia. More than 50% of TRACE revenues come from emerging countries and TRACE is the n°1 music channel in Africa. Only 3 years after its launch, TRACE, was already profitable, and forecasts of sales are in excess of €12 million in 2010 – of which 75% are made outside France, a 50% rise compared to 2009.

This handover of TRACE symbolizes the will of TRACE management to ensure an exit to Goldman Sachs - which has successfully accompanied the creation and development of the company since 2003 - and maintains the momentum of the profitable growth of TRACE. TRACE strategic plan includes the launch of a new channel, TRACE Sports HD, and accelerating the development of the TRACE brand and services in both major industrialized countries, and emerging economies where TRACE already holds leadership positions with its music channels.

Citizen Capital and Entrepreneur Venture have been attracted by the fundamentals of TRACE and share the management vision to make TRACE a major global media player focused on two highly promising entertainment segments: urban music and sports celebrities

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