Investment expands mag co-venture

Hearst Magazines Intl. has acquired a 25% interest in Turkish media company Bir Numara Yayincilik A.S. — a company valued at approximately $65 million.

While exact terms of the deal were not released, HMI prexy George Green said Tuesday that as part of his company’s investment, Hearst contributed half of an existing joint venture with Bir Numara that publishes editions of Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar and House Beautiful.

“This acquisition is reflective of the our new strategy for HMI,” Green told Daily Variety. “It moves us beyond joint venture and other forms of partnerships into owning equity stakes in major international publishing companies.”

HMI originally had only a licensing deal in Turkey with the Medya Holding Group, and in 1995 inked a joint venture agreement with Bir Numara to publish Hearst titles.

In addition to Hearst titles, Bir Numara publishes six weekly and 36 monthly magazine titles and has a 24% share of the magazine market in Turkey. The company also owns one of the country’s largest newspapers and a TV network.

Green said as a result of Tuesday’s deal, Hearst not only gains an interest in Bir Numara’s existing titles, but also pointed to “expertise which could translate into opportunities in various international markets in the future.”

Those opportunities will likely lead to forays into newspapers and the TV biz in Turkey, Green said.

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