>> 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.”