FILIPACCHI PAVES WAY TO FORM WORLD'S TOP MAGAZINE GROUP: MOGUL PLANS TO CONCENTRATE ON HACHETTE'S U.S. PROPERTIES

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Daniel Filipacchi, France's longtime magazine mogul and media innovator, will focus his attention on Hachette's U.S. titles after handing over his Filipacchi Presse magazine unit of Hachette.

Mr. Filipacchi, 69, stepped down as president of Filipacchi Presse late last month as part of an upcoming final merger of operations between Filipacchi Presse and Hachette. The two have been working together as a commonly held group for half a decade.

$1.67 BIL CO. TO BE CREATED

Mr. Filipacchi's move clears the way for the creation of Hachette Filipacchi Medias, the world's largest magazine group with 108 magazines and sales of $1.67 billion. Gerald de Roquemaurel, 51, will lead the unit as president; he formerly was a Hachette VP, responsible for the company's French titles.

The son of an Italian bookseller-turned-publisher, Mr. Filipacchi began his career at age 21 as a reporter for Paris Match. In the late 1950s, he launched youth magazine Salut les Copains; followed by OK, a title for young women, in 1961; Lui in 1963; and Photo in 1967.

In 1976 Mr. Filipacchi bought Paris Match and, in 1980, participated in the takeover of Hachette led by current Hachette Group President Jean-Luc Lagardere. Mr. Filipacchi then oversaw the initial merger of Filipacchi Presse with Hachette in the 1990s.

Once the merged Hachette Filipacchi Medias is approved by shareholders later this summer, Mr. Filipacchi will become an HFM board member and U.S.-based chairman of the company's American unit, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. He also becomes honorary chairman of the French company, acting as a consultant. Mr. Filipacchi will retain 13.1% of Hachette Filipacchi Medias with longtime

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