Hearst bought Seventeen and other teenage titles from its rival, Primedia, last week for $182 million. Seventeen, which has a monthly circulation of more than 2.5 million in the US, is also published in 14 international markets.
Victor Ganzi, the president of The Hearst Corporation, said the acquisition would add "scale and potential alongside our other US and international businesses". The deal will be completed by the end of June, with Hearst then expected to look at a UK launch of the title.
The acquisition of Seventeen follows the launch of Cosmo Girl! in the UK in 2001. Hearst said Seventeen and Cosmo Girl! would operate as separate titles with different editors and publishers.
NatMags, which is wholly owned by Hearst, has faced difficulties in launching into the teenage market. Cosmo Girl!, which targets 12- to 17-year-olds, suffered a circulation decline of 18.9 per cent over the last six months of 2002. Its latest circulation figure was 142,073.
Ganzi said: "Seventeen is a unique and powerful magazine franchise. Launched in 1944, it is the largest monthly beauty and fashion magazine in the US for young women."
Other launches into the UK teen monthly sector include Hubert Burda Media's Amber and Conde Nast's Teen Vogue.