Lagardère Services successfully sold its 65% stake in its Swiss press distribution and integrated retail units using Intralinks Dealspace®.
France-based Lagardère Group is a major diversified media, publishing, and consumer services company operating in 30 countries. One of its four major divisions is Lagardère Services, which operates retail establishments for travellers, as well as news distribution services.
Lagardère Services conducted a divestiture of its distribution operations. Reacting to market and business opportunities, the company decided to move and focus on the Switzerland business unit first.
The due diligence documents related to this transaction needed to be uploaded from Switzerland and France. According to Marie Polge, Head of M&A at Lagardère Services, about 20,000 documents were to be stored in, and shared from, a central location.
After a search for a Virtual Data Room (VDR) provider, Lagardère Services selected Intralinks Dealspace.
Intralinks Dealspace provided greater control than was available from other VDR providers. With Intralinks’ streamlined interface and easy-to-follow navigation, Lagardère Services deal team members were able to quickly set-up and deploy the Intralinks VDR. Subsequently, Intralinks successfully enabled the Lagardère team to oversee the uploading of documents and then manage the monitoring process.
“To catch business opportunities for the Swiss business unit, we needed to be extremely reactive and able to share information with minimal delay to our bidders. Intralinks Services and Support were always available,” says Marie Polge.
Intralinks’ VDR handled thousands of documents simultaneously, while applying very granular access controls to the viewers. Also, Intralinks was very flexible, allowing the deal team to grant access to some special areas of the VDR, while blocking access to other potential buyers.
“It was very easy to show a document to some buyers, but to keep access from others,” says Marie Polge. “It was easy to use and you can download documents quickly. You just have to do some dragging and dropping. We really like Intralinks’ tools and interface, compared to some of its competitors. The interface is very user friendly and easy to navigate.”
Access control was key. “It was crucial that we managed the flow of information we wanted to share with different buyers,” says Marie Polge. “We had 20,000 documents we uploaded quite easily, and were able to grant access to one document or not. Intralinks is a secure tool.” The Intralinks VDR also offered statistics on the documents the buyers were viewing, which allowed greater insight into buy-side intent and engagement.
The question-and-answer feature also proved very useful. Lagardère Services’ deal team was able to consolidate all questions from buyers within a single space, review the queries, and decide what information could be shared with them. A toolbar allowed the deal team to search on question topics by keyword.
Lagardère Services also found the Intralinks Support team to be very responsive. The deal teams were assisted by dedicated Intralinks Project Managers, from the preparation phase to the closing of the deal. They were able to call in and quickly have questions on various topics resolved.