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Michael Hannan sells his magazines to Rupert

Thursday, 16 November 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

The deal will see News Limited re-entering the Australian magazine market in a major way following its almost complete exit in the 1990’s. With the deal expected to close before the end of the year, the media empire’s buyout of the 25 titles across the FPC portfolio will instantly make it the third biggest player in the market behind ACP and Pacific Magazines. While the assets will change hands for an “undisclosed sum”, reports estimate the price as falling between $150 and $200 million.

Some of the titles in the FPC portfolio include Vogue, Australian Good Taste, delicious, GQ and Notebook. As part of the deal, IPMG will continue to take responsibility for the printing of the magazines under a five-year contract, as well as controlling the distribution for at least another three years down the track. Michael Hannan, head of IPMG and owner of FPC, has expressed his satisfaction with deal.

“Selling the magazines has not been an easy decision, but it is the best one for the magazine staff – of whom I am very proud – the brands and our magazine partners,” he says.

“Competition for the titles was fierce, and I am delighted that News Ltd has been successful. The opportunities now available for these brands within the News Ltd stable will be very exciting indeed and I have every confidence in their future success,” he says.

John Hartigan, chairman of News Limited, claims the acquisition will transform the media empire into one of the largest magazine publishers in Australia, bringing with it strong possibilities for expansion.

“We will be acquiring a stable of publications with quality content, strong brands and leadership positions across a range of categories. Together with our major titles, ALPHA, donna hay and Inside Out, and our market leading network of newspaper magazines, we will have the scale to offer our advertisers vastly expanded reach,” says Hartigan.

News Limited has labelled the FPC range of magazines as the perfect fit for its existing range of magazines, opening up opportunities for cross promotion across the different media assets. Hartigan has hinted at the possibility of brand extensions and package deals for advertisers.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with a great publishing house like Conde Nast, as well as the ABC and Woolworths, who are partners with the leading FPC titles,” he says.

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