PARIS: Luxury brands group LVMH has confirmed it is in exclusive talks with UK-headquartered media group Pearson to acquire the latter's French business daily title, Les Echos.

LVMH, headed by Bernard Arnault, has not detailed its investment strategy or long-term plans for the newspaper if negotiations are successful. Les Echos has a circulation of 137,488 and yearly sales of €120 million ($161m; £80.7m).

A deal could attract attention from France's antitrust authorities because LVMH already owns rival business daily La Tribune

Les Echos journalists went on a day's strike last week [WARC News: 21-Jun-07] when rumors of LVMH's interest emerged. They fear a takeover by the group would threaten the paper's editorial independence.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff