Emap plans to replace Red with a launch title

Emap is likely to launch itself back into the women's glossy monthly market following the change in ownership that will see Hachette Filipacchi take control of Red.

Sources at the publisher said that Emap would develop a replacement title following the break-up of its joint venture with Hachette that has seen the French publisher take control of Red and Elle.

In a sealed bid process Hachette bid £17.1 million to buy Emap's 50 per cent stake in the title, valuing Red at £34.1 million. This compares to the £40 million Hachette recently paid for Attic Futura.

Emap also submitted a bid for Red but failed to match Hachette's valuation.

Red, launched by Emap Hachette in 1998, has a circulation of 186,023, an increase of 7.7 per cent over the past year.

Before the decision on Red was reached, Hachette had taken control of Elle and Elle Girl with the other joint venture titles, New Woman and Top Sante, staying at Emap.

Hachette said the acquisition of Red would boost its range of women's titles. It aims to rival The National Magazine Company and Conde Nast in the women's monthly sector.

Emap Consumer Media's chief executive, Paul Keenan, said: "We have a significant presence in the women's magazine market through New Woman, Top Sante, Pop, The Face, More, Heat and our latest launch, Closer. We continue to look carefully at what further opportunities there are in this market because we believe there are gaps to fill."

Red was launched to target the "middle youth" audience of women in their 30s. Trish Halpin will continue as editor.

The full unwinding of Emap and Hachette's joint venture will be completed over the next few weeks. It was established in 1991 to publish Elle and launch other magazines in the UK.

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