Lagardère Active has acquired, through Hachette Filipacchi UK, DigitalSpy.co.uk, the UK’s number one independent entertainment news website, for an undisclosed sum it was announced today.
DigitalSpy.co.uk is the 4th largest entertainment news website in the UK with in excess of 2.1 million unique users on its main Entertainment News site and 3.1 million on its Forum Network. The only larger properties in terms of audience in the UK are The Sun online, MSN entertainment and BBC entertainment news (Source: Comscore Jan 2008). Digital Spy also has an extremely active and loyal community in its Forum Network which rank in the top 25 English language forums in the world by posts traffic (Source: Big-board.com Apr 2008).
The site covers a broad range of news and features across all areas of popular culture, including: showbiz, celebrities, movies, music, television, gaming and technology; while the media section covers the latest in the TV broadcasting industry with a particular focus on digital television and programming.
Digital Spy’s loyal and active audience has strong synergies with other audiences within the Lagardère portfolio, and the focus on news and community delivers a new angle to our existing entertainment offering.
DigitalSpy.co.uk , will be managed by Hachette Filipacchi UK with immediate effect. This acquisition will contribute significantly to the growth of Hachette Filippachi UK’s digital portfolio, which includes ELLEUK.com and Sugarscape.com, both launched in 2007. It will offer increased advertising opportunities to existing advertisers and allow the business to extend into new categories within the technology and financial sectors.
Didier Quillot, Chairman and CEO of Lagardère Active, commented: “ With the acquisition of Digital Spy we will accelerate the growth of our digital activities in the UK. Digital Spy will also offer valuable expertise to our websites around the world. This acquisition contributes to our 2008 external growth strategy to focus on markets outside the US and France. It will enable us to reinforce our position in our core markets, which include entertainment, and unlock valuable synergies within the group.”
Alan Jay, Chairman and founding partner of DigitalSpy.co.uk , added: “Entertainment is a global theme on the Internet,we have built Digital Spy into a leading position in the UK. Joining a leading media multinational will stimulate our growth and open global opportunities. Collaboration with powerful brands such as ELLE and Sugar in the UK and, more generally, with Lagardère’s global portfolio will give our business exciting opportunities for its future development.”
About Hachette Filipacchi UK
Hachette Filipacchi UK, a subsidiary of Lagardère Active, publishes currently eight leading consumer magazines –ELLE, ELLE Decoration, Red, Psychologies, Real Homes, Sugar– and soap celebrity titles- Inside Soap and All About Soap. In addition, ELLE Collections, the definitive bi-annual guide to catwalk fashion, was launched in July 2006, the first brand extension from UK ELLE. ELLE Decoration Collections, a comprehensive guide to the best new designs launched during the year at the world’s most prestigious international design and furniture fairs, was launched in September 2007. Hachette’s Digital Division was established early 2007 with ELLEuk.com and Sugarscape.com launched the same year. The Digital Division also consists of sites supporting its magazine brands including Psychologies and Red Direct.
About Lagardère Active
Lagardère Active (magazines, TV, radio, internet and advertising sales) is one of Lagardère SCA’s four major corporate brands, alongside Lagardère Publishing (books), Lagardère Services (distribution and related services) and, Lagardère Sports (broadcasting and sports rights management). Lagardère Active operates in 42 countries worldwide and is an international leader with nearly 235 magazine titles that account for 900 million copies sold each year, 26 radio stations and 10 TV networks. In 2007, Lagardère Active realised consolidated sales of 2.29 billion euros. Lastly, in February 2008, Lagardère Active ranked first among media companies and 8th among French firms in terms of digital audience, with 11.5 million unique visitors a month in France.
About Digital Spy
The independently owned DigitalSpy.co.uk was launched in 2000 by a small team including partners Neil Wilkes, Editorial Director and James Welsh, Systems Administrator and joined in 2001 by partner and Chairman Alan Jay. DigitalSpy.co.uk has seen sustained growth in users since its launch and currently has 2.1m unique users (on the entertainment news section of the site) and 3.1m on the accompanying forums. The forums are in the top 25 English language forums in the world by posts with over 253,000 registered users generating over 22.7 million posts (Source: Big-board.com April 2008).