The publishing giant that owns Esquire and Cosmopolitan magazines has agreed to pay €661 million ($1.17 billion) for a series of titles from French conglomerate Lagardere, which will bring Elle into its stable.
Hearst Corporation announced the binding offer yesterday.
The deal, which follows a month of exclusive talks, will bring Hearst 102 titles across 15 countries including Britain and the US. It is expected to close by the northern autumn after regulatory approvals.
The deal means it will publish Elle in those 15 countries, which include Italy, Russia, Mexico and China. Lagardere will retain French Elle, and will continue to collect royalties estimated at €8 million a year.
In Britain, Hearst will also take control of the fashion, health and beauty magazine Red, Inside Soap and Psychologies.
The sale comes after Lagardere, whose publications include Paris Match, moved to tighten its focus.
Its chief executive, Arnaud Lagardere, said the downturn in advertising had put pressure on a business that was struggling to compete, especially in the US.
The company is increasingly looking to focus on sports marketing.
The magazines that form part of the deal brought in revenues of €774 million last year, with profits of €37.7 million.
The deal will make Hearst the second largest publisher in the US in terms of circulation.