Kara Swisher

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The LeWeb Conference Sold to Reed Midem

leweb-co-RGB

Reed Midem, an international trade show organizer, has bought a majority stake in the well-known European Internet conference, LeWeb.

The event, which now has two annual gatherings, recently attracted 3,500 people in Paris, hosting such Silicon Valley speakers as Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and Nest’s Tony Fadell, as well as a range of European execs and others. LeWeb also has a London-based conference.

In an interview this morning, LeWeb’s co-founder Loïc Le Meur said that the sale will allow the business to expand.

“We want to keep the growth going, being in more places and more countries,” said Le Meur, who started LeWeb with his wife, Geraldine Le Meur, in 2004 with just 200 attendees. “We needed a partner that could help us do this.”

The Le Meurs will continue to run LeWeb, although it is not clear for how long. Le Meur also declined to say how much Reed paid for the large stake in the conference.

Reed, which did not have a tech-focused event, runs well-known shows such as Mipcom for the television industry and Midem for the music sector.

“LeWeb fits very well with Reed MIDEM. We share the same ambition for developing premium international events where participants network and build relationships, do business, launch new products and discover the latest innovations,” said Reed Midem CEO Paul Zilk in a statement.

Here is a video message from the Le Meurs, as well as the official press release:

LeWeb Reed MIDEM Press release US


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik