LONDON — Emap PLC, the publisher of magazines such as FHM and Heat, said Friday it agreed to sell its consumer media and radio units to Heinrich Bauer Verlag KG for $2.3 billion and will return most of the proceeds to shareholders.
The company said it planned to return about 1 billion pounds (US $2 billion) to shareholders following completion of the sale.
The sale is conditional on approval by shareholders in January and the completion of the sale of the company’s Irish radio business, Emap said.
Privately held Bauer, based in Hamburg, publishes 166 magazines in 14 countries, including 40 magazines in Germany, and Bravo magazine, Europe’s largest magazine targeted toward teenaged and young adult readers. Bauer’s publications in the United States include ABC Soaps In Depth, ASTROgirl! and InTouch.
Emap shares were down 7.9 percent on the London Stock Exchange, apparently as its failure to sell its business-to-business division surprised some analysts, who had expected that unit to be the easiest of the company’s assets to sell.