More signs are pointing to a possible sale of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., publisher of Elle and Woman’s Day, to Hearst Corp.
Sources said Steve Parr, president and CEO of the U.S. arm of France’s Lagardère Active, has been spending time across town at Hearst, while Hearst and Hachette execs are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Hachette execs have been scrambling to respond to Paris’ requests for information about the company.
Lagardère said earlier this month that it was talking with potential partners outside France as it looks to reduce expenses overseas. That’s a reversal of the stance it took over the summer, when it denied any plan to sell the U.S. magazines.
Despite the apparent eagerness to do a deal, a sale is far from guaranteed. If Lagardère is to find a single buyer for all the assets, as it apparently would prefer, it would have to find one that would want Hachette’s mass-market and enthusiast titles alike. A buyer would also have to come to agree on terms over Elle, which Lagardère is believed to want to keep some control over because it provides significant content to its overseas editions.