Emap in talks with Italian group over French division sale

Emap has announced it is in talks with Italian media group Arnoldo
Mondadori Editore S.p.A. over the sale of its French division.

The
Italian group, owned by the family of former Italian prime minister
Silvio Berlusconi, will be negotiating for the rights to French
editions of FHM and Closer and a number of TV listings guides.

Emap
announced its intention to sell its struggling French division in March
this year and will return the proceeds to investors, in a deal expected
to reach close to £400 million.

Emap France, which accounts for
about a quarter of the parent company’s profits, is expected to be sold
by the first quarter of its financial year 06/07, according to the
company.

The group, established in 1994, suffered a 23 per cent
fall in profits in the six months to September last year, reportedly
due to competition from new TV-listings titles, a weak French economy
affecting advertising and restrictions on magazine distribution leading
to supermarkets refusing to stock titles.

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