Lagardere to sell 10 magazines, one third of its total titles, to focus on core magazines, citing difficulties during transition to digital, says it will close down publications if not sold

PARIS , October 17, 2013 () – France's media giant Lagardere Active said Thursday it was selling a third of its magazines roster to focus on key titles such as the popular Elle glossy, as it struggles in the digital age.

The company will even close down the magazines it has decided to sell -- which include film monthly Premiere -- if they are not sold, chairman Denis Olivennes told employees in a letter seen by AFP.

Altogether, 10 magazines that specialise in topics as varied as cars or interior design, have been put up for sale, the management announced Thursday.

"Lagardere Active must imperatively tighten its portfolio to focus its investment efforts," it said in a statement, adding the magazines being sold were of high quality.

It laid the blame on the digital age and its radical impact on the media.

"The choice of focusing our strengths on our flagship magazines must come with a development strategy for these key brands," Olivennes said in the letter.

The company, which has seen advertising revenues drop, made sales of just over one billion euros ($1.4 billion) last year.

The announcement immediately sparked a decision to announce a strike for Monday, a union source said, which will block the publication of Lagardere magazines.

The magazines up for sale account for 10 percent of the 3,740 people Lagardere employs, of whom 1,102 are journalists. According to the unions, about 570 jobs could be threatened if the magazines change hands.

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(c) 2013 Agence France-Presse

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