French family firm sells stake

<p>The Lyons-based family-owned chain of bookshops Decitre has sold a majority stake of 57% to the investment fund Finadvance Capital for an undisclosed sum. The family will retain 37% of the capital, and the remaining 6% will be held by Espin Participations, which was already a shareholder.<br /><br />The firm was created 100 years ago and now consists of eight bookshops in the Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes region of central France, three in Lyons, one each in Ecully, Saint-Genis-Laval, Annecy, Grenoble and Chamb&eacute;ry, B2B and B2C websites, direct sales to public and private libraries. The B2C site offering 670,000 titles is the fifth largest in France, and the book database is licenced to Google and other operators.<br /><br />Guillaume Decitre recently took over as chairman and chief executive of the group, the fourth generation of the family to run the business. Agn&egrave;s Vinarnic, previously a senior manager at Fnac chain, is managing director. </p><p>Plans are to buy or set up stores outside the Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes region and to target an annual turnover increase of 8% to 10% from last year&#39;s &euro;60m (&pound;48m) to &euro;80m (&pound;64m) in the next five years, Decitre said. He added that he was looking at several options within France to expanding the chain of stores, but declined to name them.<br /><br /></p>