MAP BUYS WGSN: British publisher Emap Plc is clicking on to fashion.

The owner of consumer magazines including FHM, Heat, Closer, Zoo and a variety of other consumer titles, Emap has purchased the London-based Worth Global Style Network for an eye-popping $247 million. The acquisition was announced Friday. The subscription-based WGSN.com is an online information site for the retail industry, offering information ranging from news items to trend reports to store windows around the world. For Emap, the purchase was part of a strategy to diversify the company’s media portfolio. “It’s part of a very clear direction in our business. We see magazines and new media as being very complementary,”; said Derek Carter, chief executive of Emap, in a telephone interview. He added the editorial direction of WGSN would not be altered. “It’s a fantastic business that knows its market well. We have not begun with the notion that we need to change anything. Of course, like all businesses, it will continue to develop,”; he said.

Last year, pretax profits at WGSN were $7 million. Emap also forecast that in 2005 the business would grow by 27 percent.
— Lucie Greene

This story first appeared in the October 17, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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