Hearst (National Magazines in the UK) pays €651m for Lagardère (Hachette Filipacchi in the UK) magazine business

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UK National Magazines

After months of speculation Lagardère, the French conglomerate behind Hachette Filipacchi, best known for Elle magazine, has made a formal announcement that a firm cash offer of €651m (£559m) has been made from Hearst Corporation for Lagardère’s international magazine business.

The offer includes the sale of 102 titles, including UK known brands Red, Inside Soap, and Psychologies.

The deal also includes a Master License Agreement (MLA), which will enable Hearst to use the Elle trademark in these 15 countries.

The outcome in the UK sees Elle and Red housed alongside  Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan in the same publishing house and offers National Magazines a broader spectrum of women’s and fashion titles and pitched against Conde Nast’s premium fashion brand Vogue.

FOUR opinions…

From a media buyers point of view the takeover once again reduces the sales points and therefore has the potential to reduce competition – which is never good. Cross selling will be inevitable – given the circulation figures attributed to Harper’s Bazaar (118,535) versus the younger, but equally aspirational Elle (195,625).

But we also agree with Nicolas Colleridge that Vogue remains the number one brand in the top end market and any combination of other titles is still secondary but this won’t stop buyers trying to use the merger as leverage against the Conde Nast rate structure . In reality Conde Nast has ‘seen off’ would be ‘competitors’ in a very combatative market and we do not expect anything to change. However, the delicately manicured nails will be out in the next few months…

Perhaps the most important aspect of this activity is an acknowledgement of how tough it is out there for Publishing Houses of the ‘printed’ matter and further amalgamations cannot be ruled out as they seek cost-efficiencies in order to maintain their editorial ‘excellence’

What do you think about this take over? Please click here to share your thoughts.

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