PARIS — Reworld Media has inked a deal to buy the whole Mondadori France catalogue from its Italian parent company Mondadori.
On Monday, after months of negotiations, the media company, under the leadership of owner Pascal Chevalier, offered to buy 100 percent of Mondadori France’s magazines, including Grazia, Biba, Sciences & Vie, Closer, Télé Star, Auto-Plus and L’Auto Journal, for 70 million euros, or $79 million at current exchange rate.
The deal will create a portfolio of more than 50 magazines — Reworld Media already owns 11 titles, including Marie France, Be and Le Journal de la Maison — in both print and web versions, as well as a team of 1,100 collaborators based in 11 countries and a projected annual revenue of 500 million euros, making Reworld Media one of the leading media groups in Europe.
Part of the operation will be financed by the sale of shares in Reworld Media to Mondadori Group — controlled by Fininvest, held by the Berlusconi family — which will then own 8 percent to 10 percent of Reworld.
“Reworld Media will bring its knowledge of digitalization, the creation of new revenues and audience development, mirroring what the group has achieved in the last years,” the company said.
In October 2018, staffers at Grazia France voiced their concern about the planned sale, announced on Sept. 27.
On Oct. 16, an open letter penned by the editorial team was published on the web site of French daily Le Figaro, stating their worry that the change in ownership would impact the editorial direction of the magazine, referring to a story in the French newspaper Libération titled “Un conseil: ne bosse jamais pour eux” (“A word of advice: never work for them.”).
“The methods and raison d’être of your company, described in recent articles about you, are the opposite of our methods and our identity,” they wrote. “The words ‘press’ and ‘journalism’ don’t seem to figure on your web sites or in your statements.” The letter was followed by a number of demonstrations by staffers at Mondadori France in front of the Ministry of Culture in Paris.