Hatchet Book


January 21, 2022

Hachette Livre is a French publishing group. Created in 1826 by Louis Hachette, it has been part of Lagardère SCA since 1981. Over the course of its acquisitions, it has become the leading publisher in France and the second in Spain. It is among the top ten publishing conglomerates with 2.4 billion euros in annual revenue in 2020.



Initially founded in 1826 and located in Paris at 12-14 rue Pierre-Sarrazin, near the Paris medical school, the Louis Hachette bookstore became in 1864 the first European publisher, specializing in school books, even for classrooms. asylum (name, at the time, of nursery schools) in 1836, university and travel guides. In 1870, the Librairie L. Hachette et Cie had a quasi-monopoly for school textbooks, but a new law forced it to diversify. In 1896, Hachette owned 1,200 station libraries, then lost some of them to a huge distribution network, the Messageries Hachette. In 1900, the house took over its school collections from Armand Colin. In 1902, launch of The Happy Life. In 1914, the house of Pierre-Jules Hetzel, publisher of Jules Verne, was integrated into the group. Turnover reached 60 million gold francs. The premises extend between rue Pierre-Sarrazin, boulevards Saint-Germain and Saint-Michel. In 1917, the buyout of Pierre Lafitte's assets was approved.

Between the wars

In 1919, Hachette became a limited company, then, in 1922, thanks to Paribas, went public with an issued capital of 33 million. During the 1920s and 1930s, the production of books tripled, as Hachette invested in general literature and the children's sector, then took over the exclusive distribution of Gallimard (1932) and Fasquelle (1935), through an increasingly central, the Messageries Hachette, which also includes press titles. In 1934, the publisher joined forces with Paul Winkler to launch Le Journal de Mickey. During the Second World War, the Hachette family lost control of its subsidiaries abroad and of its distribution, but regained the head of its group in 1945.

Global expansion

Nicknamed "the green octopus", Hachette has been responsible for the distribution of books and the press in France since the end of the 19th century. In 1953, by creating the Le Livre de poche collection with Henri Filipacchi through its subsidiary the Librairie générale française, it brought together the funds of more than 37 publishing houses until the early 1970s. It ended up buying Tallandier, then Grasset (1954), Fayard (1958), Fasquelle (1959) and Stock (1961). In 1972, Gallimard decided to ensure its own distribution and pocketisation. In the years that followed, Hachette's share price crumbled. In 1977, the last Hachette heir, Ithier de Roquemaurel (1914-1996), left the presidency, replaced by Simon Nora, then by Jacques Marchandise (1908-2002). After a wave of layoffs, Hachette was bought in December 1980 by an industrial group, Matra, which was a first in France, then passed under the management of Jean-Luc Lagardère in 1981. In 1987, the latter created the Groupe Hatchet book. A wave of acquisitions took place internationally in 1988: first the Spanish group Salvat, then the American Grolier, and finally the British Orion, Cassell, and Octopus. In 1996, Groupe Livre Hachette merged with Hatier, turnover rose to 4.6 billion francs, but the following year, Havas Publications Édition, via the Presses de la Cité group, became the French number one in books and of the press. In 2004, following the breakup of the Vivendi holding company, Hachette acquired Éditions Larousse, Dunod, Dalloz, Armand Colin, the British Hodder Headline, then in 2006, the paper publishing business of Time Warner. October 15

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