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Analysis: Hearst – Hachette Implications for the USH Magazine Market

Hearst’s purchase of Hachette's (Lagardere) magazines outside of France has interesting implications for the U.S. Hispanic magazine market.


Hearst’s purchase of Hachette's (Lagardere) magazines outside of France has interesting implications for the U.S. Hispanic magazine market.

The Deal: Under the deal Hearst will pay 651 million euros ($880 million) to Hachette-Lagardere for Hachette’s international magazines (outside of France). The deal excludes the global Elle trademark for which Hearst will become a licensee (including in the U.S. and Mexico) and pay Lagardere a royalty based on Elle annual sales. In other 25 countries (including Brazil) Lagardere will continue to manage its existing network of Elle licenses (print and digital).

Below are some speculative implications about what may be in store for the U.S. Hispanic magazine market. Be aware, the ownership and licensee – licensor structure of these magazine brands s a real conundrum!

1.  There is no U.S. Hispanic edition of Elle, Hachette-Lagardere’s most valued property. In the past Hachette has explored an expansion into this area, but right now the few Elle Spanish-magazines sold in the U.S. are the Mexican editions of Elle published by Grupo Editorial Expansion (GEE).

2.  In Mexico Elle and Quo, the crown jewels of Hachette-Mexico are marketed under a joint venture between Hachette-Lagardere (now Hearst) with GEE. GEE is owned by Time Inc. Could Time Inc. (GEE) launch a U.S. Hispanic edition of Elle against its archrival Hearst? Or are they going to work together precisely because now Time Inc (GEE) shares ownership with Hearst of the Mexican JV that publishes Elle and Quo?

3.  Televisa. who has a strong relationship with Hearst, particularly after it lost the Mexican Hachette Elle and Quo editions to its Mexican rival GEE , may be able to work closely now with Hearst to put out a U.S. Hispanic (and panregional) edition of Elle. Televisa holds the Mexican and panregional licenses of other major women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan (Hearst) and Marie Claire (from the French Group Marie Claire).

4.  Major women’s magazine publishers friends or enemies (“frenemies")? Televisa, GEE, Time Inc and Hearst can compete/partner in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American women’s magazine market. Women’s magazines (multimedia brands) tend to be the most profitable sector of the magazine market.

What happens in Mexico has important consequences on the U.S. Hispanic magazine market. Read Analysis: Hearst-Hachette: Implications for Mexico.

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