PUBLISHER K-III GETS CAHNERS' BOOKS

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The publisher of Seventeen and New Woman will add American Baby, Modern Bride, and a dozen other magazines to its stable when the ink dries on the estimated $180 million deal between K-III Communications Corp. and Reed Elsevier's Cahners Publishing.

The Cahners consumer titles, on the block since July, also attracted attention from Time Inc. and Walt Disney Magazine Publishing.

K-III had owned 33 special interest titles and only eight consumer magazines. Industry analyst Leo Scullin, president of Leo Scullin & Associates, New York, labeled the acquisition "essential for K-III. It's a good deal, not a fire sale."

Executives familiar with the deal said the Cahners titles generate about $100 million in ad and circulation revenue, almost half of it from American Baby.

Some observers like consultant Martin Walker think K-III may spin off some of the acquired titles-specifically, Sail and Power & Motoryacht.

But Harry McQuillen, K-III Magazines president-CEO, said Cahners' boating brands would strengthen advertisers' buys. "We're not planning a spinoff," he said. "We think the boating books can work with Automobile and make a nice men's package."

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