VNU arm plays grey mag launch

VNU subsidiary British European Associated Publishers is planning a move into consumer magazines for older women, and is looking to double its 18-strong portfolio within the next three years.

BEAP, which specialises in the puzzles market and whose stable includes Puzzler magazine, says it is considering launching new titles as well as making acquisitions. It is also understood to be close to signing a deal with an undisclosed American publisher to expand its portfolio overseas.

BEAP already has tentative agreement from the VNU board for the new acquisitions and launches, although this will not be formally confirmed until later this year.

Mel Lewis, BEAP managing director, says: “BEAP is looking to broaden its base.

“While we are the market leaders in the puzzle market, the feeling is that we need to broaden our activities and we are looking at launches and acquisitions. Our core readership is very much female and very much the middle to older age group, and that is an area that coincides well with current activities.”

Koos Guis, chairman of BEAP, says: “First of all we have to ask for formal approval, and if the answer is positive, we have to discuss it further with British management. We have to expand and the grey market looks interesting.”

H Bauer Publishing recently agreed to change the cover design of its new title, Puzzles, after BEAP issued a writ claiming the company was passing off and infringing the magazine’s trademark.

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