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HuffPo Partners With Le Monde, LNEI On French Edition

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The Huffington Post is planning a French edition — Le Huffington Post — with two established partners who will share equity: The Le Monde Group and Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendante. It was not clear if the three will own an equal share.

The release also makes no mention of HuffPo parent AOL (NYSE: AOL), instead listing the company’s top content properties as The Huffington Post Media Group; AOL won’t be involved in ad sales either as Le Monde’s M Publicite will handle the site’s advertising.

Confirmation of Le Huffington Post comes four months after HuffPo launched in the UK.

Arianna Huffington first mentioned it when she was in Cannes in June as she heralded the coming of a dozen international sites. Other planned expansion sites include Latin America, Australia and India.

Perhaps the reason AOL doesn’t figure too largely in Le HuffPo is because the main company is in the process of rebuilding its European executive leadership. Last month, AOL Europe CEO Kate Burns exited the company amid a wider reorganization as AOL promoted two GoViral heads.

Le HuffPo will make use of Le Monde’s and LNEI’s local edit resources. In addition to the flagship Paris-based daily newspaper, Le Monde also publishers several weekly magazines, including Télérama, Courrier International and La Vie. The other partner, LNEI, is the holding company of Matthieu Pigasse, which runs the French weekly culture magazine and Les Inrockuptibles group, which shares controlling stake in Le Monde Group jointly with Pierre Bergé and Xavier Niel, and which also holds various stakes in the French media landscape.

While the ad sales involvement wasn’t clear, HuffPo staffers will also have an editorial role, including producing original reporting as well as aggregation.