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French Group to Buy Harry N. Abrams

March 11, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Times Mirror Co. said it will sell its Harry N. Abrams Inc. unit to closely held Groupe Latingy for an undisclosed price, ending its 31-year relationship with the first U.S. publisher to specialize in art books. Times Mirror will take a minority interest in Groupe Latingy as part of the transaction. Abrams, which has about $50 million in annual sales, will join Paris-based Groupe Latingy's stable of illustrated books on subjects such as art, photography, travel and health. The company publishes under several names, including Editions de La Martiniere, Liber, Manise and de La Martiniere Jeunesse. Los Angeles-based Times Mirror, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and other publications, said last year it wanted to sell Harry N. Abrams so it could focus on its newspapers and magazines. Times Mirror stock rose 25 cents to close at $54.375 on the NYSE. By placing the brand names and skills of Harry N. Abrams under Latingy's leadership, Times Mirror Chairman, Chief Executive and President Mark H. Willes said, he believes Abrams can "grow and prosper." Abrams, founded in 1949, was acquired by Times Mirror in 1966.

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