Italian publishing firm Arnoldo Mondadori Editore is in exclusive talks to buy the French business of UK media group Emap, the two firms have said.
European publishers have seen competition for readers increase
Emap announced in February this year that it was planning to sell its French business, which has seen underlying sales fall.
Emap France publishes FHM, Sport Auto and Le Film Francais, and TV listings guides Tele Star and Tele Poche.
Its sale is expected to raise between £300m-£400m ($553m-$737m).
In its latest full-year results, Emap said its French business had seen flat overall sales of £300m for the year to 31 March, with underlying sales down 3%.
Operating profits fell by a quarter to £38m, following a fall in advertising at its TV listings guides, poor newsstand sales and £8m spent on the launch of celebrity and gossip magazine Closer.
Announcing the talks with Mondadori, Emap said it expected to complete the sale in the first half of its 2006/07 financial year, with "surplus net proceeds" from the sale being returned to shareholders.