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Alliance TRACE Media, B.V. Announces the Acquisitio n of TRACE Magazines and French TV Station MCM Africa

NEW YORK, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliance TRACE Media, B.V. (TRACE), announced today that it has acquired selected assets of TRACE Magazine in the US and UK and purchased from MCM Group (Lagardere), 80 percent of the largest urban television channel in France -- MCM Africa - - to be renamed TRACE@MCM.

TRACE also announced today that it has closed on a financial investment by a group of investors, led by Goldman Sachs. Commenting on the investment, Tim Ingrassia, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and member of TRACE's new board of directors, said: "There is growing market opportunity for this type of media firm. The fact that the new company, Alliance TRACE Media has operations both in Europe and the United States, was an especially attractive feature to us."

TRACE Magazine, a bi-monthly music, fashion and lifestyle title, is currently published in the US and the UK and distributed in some 28 countries worldwide on a limited basis. Launched in London in 1996 by Claude Grunitzky, TRACE holds an unchallenged position as the creator of a new aesthetic for today's multicultural youth. TRACE, a magazine on the forefront of international urban cool, has always been about discovery. The magazine has nurtured the careers of groundbreaking photographers, writers, designers and stylists from around the world. TRACE, which relocated to the US in 1998, re-launched its UK edition in September 2002. Annual issues include specials on music, art, and fashion and the highly popular"Black Girls Rule!" issue. TRACE will launch a French edition of the magazine by fall 2003 and plans to increase the distribution and frequency of its US and UK publications.

TRACE@MCM, a cable and satellite digital station to be launched in April 2003, will be operated in partnership with MCM Gro up and will feature music, news, fashion and cultural programming targeting the new urban multicultural youth in France and French-speaking territories in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. MCM Group owns and operates the leading music television channel in France. MCM's sister company, Hachette Filipacchi Medias, is one of the world's top magazine publishers with some 222 titles, such as Elle, Paris Match, Car and Driver, and Premiere. TRACE will also produce TV programming for iMCM, the DTTV version of MCM.

As parent company of TRACE@MCM and TRACE Magazines, TRACE is building a unique international media platform for multicultural youths from around the world. TRACE's print editorial and broadcast programming is always based on dialogue as it showcases diverse cultures, experiences and creative forms of expression in our global community.

Commenting on the announcement, TRACE Chairman and CEO, Richard Wayner, said: "This is a tremendously ambitious venture. To my knowledge, this is the first time that a major financial institution anda leading international media firm have decided to pursue the multicultural market with the same energy and determination in Europe as the multicultural market has already been pursued in America. I am thrilled that TRACE has been chosen to lead what I believe will be a memorable and remarkable project. We are confident that we are building a unique international media platform that will connect young people around the world, especially in urban centers."

"This is a dream come true for me and the entire TRACE team. I conceived TRACE as a platform for showcasing creativity from around the world and bringing people together. With this investment, we've got a real opportunity to thrive by developing the TRACE brand globally across multiple editions of the magazine, as well as on television and other media ventures," said Claude Grunitzky, Chief Creative Officer of TRACE and Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of TRACE Magazine.

Olivier LAOUCHEZ, Chairman and CEO of TRACE France, said "Young people made urban culture a crossover phenomenon beyond countries and races. TRACE TV and Magazines editorial contents will reflect this reality and lead the fast growing trend toward our new frontier: Transculturalism(R)."

PRESS CONTACT: Nathalie Pilovetzky
Tel: 212-226-8831 / Cell: 917-309-3369
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