LOS ANGELES: Business-to business publisher Petersen is in talks to be acquired by the major British magazine group Emap.
Both Petersen and Emap, which holds the UK license for women's magazine Elle, confirmed they were in talks.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Emap would be prepared to pay around $1.1 billion to achieve its long held ambition of gaining a major US foothold.
Petersen, who went public in 1997, saw its stock rise on news of a possible deal. The publisher has around 120 titles in its stable including a number of sports-oriented magazines.
In November, Petersen signed a joint venture with NBC Sports. The two are to create a new event called The Gravity Games, which will be promoted by its sports magazines when the games launch in 2000.
Separately, the Publishers Information Bureau put out figures last week saying that nine of the top 12 ad categories have increased spending with magazines during 1998.
The association reported that total advertising revenue rose to $1.6 billion, a 6.5% rise over last year. The biggest spenders were in the business and consumer category while the computer, car and food industries all spent less.