European Publishing Giant Pays $96 Million

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- European media giant Emap Communications has acquired the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, it announced today.
The 51-year-old ad festival has a new owner.
2004 Festival:
Complete 2004 Coverage From Cannes, France

European reports indicate the company paid about $96 million to acquire the famed festival from its owners, the London-based WJB Chiltern Trust Co. (Jersey) Ltd.

51 years old
Held every June, the Cannes Lions Festival is the foremost international gathering of advertising industry executives and the world's most prestigious creative advertising awards program. Started in Venice 51 years ago it took final root as an annual event in Cannes, France. More than 8,000 advertising and marketing executives attended this spring's five-day conclave in the Mediterranean seaside resort city.

Headquartered in England, Emap is a major media company, owner of radio and publishing properties throughout Europe. It is the No. 2 publisher of consumer magazines in the U.K. and No. 1 in France, putting out more than 150 titles, including FHM, Heat, Smash Hits and Tele Star.

The company is also a major publisher of business-to-business magazines including Europe's advertising business magazine, Media & Marketing Europe.

'Oscars of advertising'
"Cannes Lions is rightly known as the Oscars of advertising, occupying a unique place in the international advertising industry," Mike Jones, a director of Emap Media, said in a statement. "We are delighted that Cannes is now part of Emap."

The company said the current CEO of the festival, Terry Savage, would continue in that role.

"The Cannes Lions brand has been built from a unique and powerful vision. I look forward to working with Emap to continue to ensure that Cannes Lions remains the most attended and relevant event for creatives, agencies and clients," Mr. Savage said in the statement.

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