Hearst Is a Step Closer to Owning Lagardère’s Int’l Magazines

By Steve Cohn
03/29/2011

On March 28,  Lagardère SCA and Hearst Corp. signed a "share purchase agreement" for the 651 million euros (approximately $917.7 million) sale of Lagardère’s 102 non-French
magazine properties.

Announcement by Lagardère followed the Jan. 31 agreement that gave Hearst exclusive negotiating rights. The signed deal came after the necessary due diligence, but regulatory approval in certain European countries is required for the transaction to close.  That, said Lagardère, "is expected to occur in the coming months."

Effect upon closing in the U.S. means that Hearst Magazines will own Woman’s Day, Car and Driver and Road & Track from Lagardère’s Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. unit. Hearst will also manage the business sides of Elle and Elle Decor, with Lagardère retaining editorial control. That will make the Elle a "cousin" of 25-year fashion-magazine rival Harper’s Bazaar and, with the signature now in hand, speculation will build further on how this will pan out.