>> Harper's Bazaar publisher Hearst could have ownership of all 40-plus foreign editions of Elle (minus the original French one) within the month. After over a year of rumors about the acquisition, and then word that Bauer Media or Meredith Corporation might also be in the running, Elle parent company Lagardere announced on Friday that it is in exclusive talks with Hearst, giving until Jan. 30, for the deal to be struck. Whatever happens, Lagardere still aims to keep full editorial control at Elle, post-sale. [Bloomberg, WWD]
>> The rumors have been flying for well over a year now, but finally, French conglomerate Lagardere, which owns publisher Hachette Filipacchi, and subsequently, Elle, has confirmed that it is exploring options for its international magazine business.
“These are informal discussions, which can result in anything from partnerships to joint ventures to an outright sale," a spokeswoman confirmed. "But at this stage nothing is fixed, and no time limit has been set."
Regardless of what happens, Lagardere plans to hold on to its French magazines — including French Elle — and retain editorial control over the foreign editions of Elle (which includes American Elle). When asked about the rumors that Harper's Bazaar publisher Hearst was interested in buying a controlling stake in American Elle, the spokeswoman replied: “They are certainly one of the possible partners but by no means the only one.”