Hearst Buys Lagardère's 'Elle' Magazine

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hearst bought the international magazine business of French media conglomerate Lagardère, whose American division, Hachette Filipacchi Media, publishes Elle and Woman's Day, among other titles.

The deal, worth about $889 million, covers 102 titles in 15 countries, as well as its digital operations, with 50 Web sites and a number of mobile and tablet applications. The transaction comes after months of negotiations and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2011.

Lagardère will retain ownership of the French flagship edition of Elle, as well as the trademark, and will collect an annual royalty from the international versions of the publication.

The U.S. edition of Elle saw its ad page sales gain 9.8% last year, while its advertising revenue saw an increase of more than 12%, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Lagardère reportedly wants to sell a 20% stake in the French pay-television channel Canal Plus as it looks to shed assets that it no longer considers strategic because of some shareholder pressure to improve operating performance.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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