>> Rumors are flying after the New York Post reported via an anonymous source this morning that Hachette Filipacchi owner Lagardere is in talks with Harper's Bazaar publisher Hearst about taking over the US operations of Elle. The source stated that if a deal went through, a joint venture or long-term licensing agreement would be made, similar to the deal Lagardere and Hearst have made for Marie Claire, and would only apply to the American version of Elle.
The Post estimates that Elle is valued around $200 million, whereas Hearst's profits hovered around $225 million last year and are expected to fall lower this year.
So far, they're denying it »
A Hachette spokeswoman has since said that there is "no truth" to the report, and Lagardere released a statement:
Following an article published today in The New York Post, Lagardère Active, HFM U.S. parent company, formally denies being in negotiation with Hearst Corp Group. There are no ongoing talks on a joint venture or licensing agreement with Hearst Corp Group regarding ELLE magazine in the U.S.
But, as MinOnline pointed out: "An Elle/Harper's Bazaar fashion magazine alliance at Hearst would be formidable against Vogue/W at Conde Nast."