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Women.com Forms U.K. Alliance

[June 22] Women.com announced Thursday that it has become the first U.S. women's Internet company to form a major alliance overseas, forming a joint venture with Hearst subsidiary National Magazine Company (NatMags) in the U.K.

NatMags publishes such print magazines as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Company, She, Having a Baby, and Harpers & Queen. It will provide localized women's-interest content for the new U.K. site, due to launch later this year.

David Brandin, senior vice president, international, Women.com, observed that women around the world demand different experiences from the Web -- and for that reason Women.com needs content localized to capture cultural nuances.

Deputy Managing Director of National Magazines, Duncan Edwards said the venture, which combines some top magazine brands for women and Women.com's expertise in building popular Internet sites, would give NatMags "important definition in a rapidly expanding market."

"It won't be long before uk.women.com becomes an essential site for the growing number of women using the Web for information and entertainment," said Edwards.

There are around six million women online in the U.K., according to UK Internet User Monitor. They represent 40 per cent of the 15 million U.K. Internet users.

Under the terms of this week's deal, Women.com will hold a minority share in uk.women.com, taking two of the five seats on the board. The new site will have access to Women.com's proprietary original content, tools and community.

Currently, the Women.com network is 160,000 pages deep and 18 topical channels wide. It ranks among the 50 most popular sites on the Internet.



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