The Cannes International Lions Advertising Festival has been sold to British media conglomerate Emap for £52.5 million ($96.62m; €78.8m). The all-cash deal also includes weeklies Screen International and Broadcast.

The choice leonine happening, which annually attracts around 8,000 senior advertising and media people to the French Riviera resort, was formerly owned by Gallic marketing-man-turned promoter Roger Hatchuel (71) who started his business career back in the 1950s at Procter & Gamble's UK unit.

Emap already boasts a substantial conference business and claims its expertise will expand the week-long awards festival into a 'networking event'. Which could come as a surprise to Hatchuel, who may believe he had already achieved exactly that!

Emap says its new acquisition will generate £30m in revenues during the current quarter. Which is handy, given that the Lions purchase is expected to dilute pre-tax profits by about £3m in the current fiscal. However, the acquisition should enhance total group earning in 2006 by around 2%.

Emap also reported its results for the year to March 31: a pre-tax profit of £144m on sales of £1.05bn. The communications division [which will house the Lions event] posted an operating profit of £59m on revenues of £213m.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff