Japanese and French giants shake hands in e-commerce deal

Sumitomo, one of Japan’s almighty general trading houses (sogo shosha), will buy a 34% stake in Hachette Fujingaho [JP], the Tokyo-based subsidiary from Lagardère Active, a media conglomerate headquarted in Paris.
The two companies already signed a basic agreement on January 14 with the deal being worth 5 billion Yen (55 million USD/42 million Euros). Sumitomo wants to launch various Japanese e-commerce sites through the partnership, offering a range of products such as household goods or fashion items. The sites will focus on the luxury segment.
The first site, an online shopping portal for famous women’s magazine Elle (PC and mobile web), will be launched in September 2009, followed by other Hachette publications such as 25ans. The two companies are aiming for sales worth 10 billion Yen (110 million USD/84 million Euros) annually by 2013.
To put things into perspective:
Lagardère reports revenues of over 11 billion USD in 2007. Sumitomo’s net income reached 2.7 billion USD in 2008!
This is Sumitomo’s official press release (in English), this is what Lagardère says (in French).

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