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Future Gets Official PlayStation Mag, Sells French Arm

Officials from British based magazine publisher Future Publishing have announced that the company has sold its entire issued share capital in French division Future France to French company WM7 for a consideration of up to €18.0 million ($25.6m).
Future US has announced new terms with SCEA to publish PlayStation: The Official Magazine starting with its Holiday 2007 issue, as Future's UK division announces it has divested itself of its Future France division to focus on English language publications. Future US says PlayStation's initial circulation will be 300,000 copies and see the company's traditional frequency of 13 issues per year. The company says it will produce and oversee all the editorial and advertising sales for the magazine, with former PSM editor in chief Rob Smith now at the helm. In mid-September Future US also got the rights to take over long-running Nintendo publication Nintendo Power. Its UK branch already publishes the official Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox magazines in the United Kingdom, and runs the Official Xbox Magazine in North America. Sony senior marketing VP Peter Dille said, "We're very excited to be working with a group that is nearly as passionate about our brand as we are ourselves and we look forward to working with Future on many innovative ideas they have to create a best in class enthusiast publication." Meanwhile, the UK division has announced that it has sold its entire issued share capital in French division Future France to French company WM7 for a consideration of up to €18.0 million ($25.6m). WM7 is jointly owned by Paris-based financial institution LMBO and by a number of members of the current Future France management team, including managing director Sari Zaimi and finance director Jane Wray. Future France currently publishes eighteen separate monthly magazines and employs a staff of one hundred and seventy-one. For the year ended September 30th, 2006 the division reported revenues of €35.6 million ($50.6m) but a pre-tax loss of €0.6 million ($0.9m). The division holds a net cash balance of around €8 million ($11.4m), which it will retain. The sale will be split into an initial cash payment of €13.2 million ($18.8m) and up to €4.8 million ($6.8m) extra in 2010 if certain revenue targets are achieved. Future Publishing will continue to license seven of its titles to Future France. In a statement, Future Publishing, well known for specialist magazine titles such as Edge, PC Format and the three current official console magazines, has indicated that the money earned from the sale will be used to reduce the company’s level of bank debt and help continue its stated strategy to invest only in English language content in the future.

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