Property: Lagardere SCA’s Magazine Portfolio
Date: Completed in Late 2011
Price: $919 Million
Hearst Corp. finally completed its $919 million acquisition of Lagerdere SCA’s nearly 100 magazines outside the French market in December 2011 when it closed on its deal to buy the Hachette China operations. The full transaction, which had been undergoing regulatory approval in 15 different countries, was initiated in late 2010.
The deal included nearly 50 websites outside the French market and publishing rights to media brands such as Elle and Elle Decor, ownership of Woman’s Day, Car and Driver and Road & Track. Hearst said it would begin immediately integrating those titles into its Magazine Group. The new Hearst magazine portfolio includes more than 300 titles.
“Today’s news represents a rare opportunity to advance Hearst Corporation’s position as a leading U.S. media company and significantly expand our presence domestically, internationally and in major emerging markets,” said Hearst Corp. CEO Frank A. Bennack Jr. in a statement at the time. “Above all, the deal underscores our commitment and belief in magazines and the brands and content they represent.”
The deal, especially because of its scale and its decidedly magazine-centric nature, was a rare one for the year, and may have been the exception to the rule in a year where buyers were being more strategic in their target choices, not to mention thrifty. “The Hearst/Hachette deal was the big consumer media event of 2011,” AdMedia Partners managing director Seth Alpert told Folio:. “But I believe that was driven by cost synergies as much as anything else. So it was financially-driven and I think that’s quite the exception.”
The deal was the magazine media event of the year, but in aggregate it could be characterized as an anomaly.