Hearst Corp most likely to buy Hachette

Lagardère Active is reportedly close to a deal to sell its US magazine group, Hachette Filipacchi, t

Sources familiar with the development said Hearst and Hachette executives are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks as Steve Parr, president and chief executive of the US arm of the French Lagardere Active, has been striving to hammer out a deal.

The heads of both the companies, Arnaud Lagardère and Frank Bennack, had also reporetedly agreed to terms on the management and editorial direction of the magazines.

Earlier, Lagardere Active had denied any plan to sell its US magazines but took a reversal on its stance after it revealed that it was talking with potential partners outside France as it looks for ways to reduce expenses overseas.

The company initiated talks with potential partners outside France, with a view to exploring under what conditions it could enter into partnerships in order to reduce purchasing costs and generate synergies.

However, reaching an agreement acceptable to both parties was still difficult as Lagardère was keen to find a single buyer for all the assets, which included Hachette's mass-market and enthusiast titles.

Moreover, as regards Elle, Lagardere was seeking a partnership rather than an outright sale because Elle provides content for the magazine's overseas editions.