Hardly a day g s by without an acquisition by Havas, an appendage of the giant Vivendi conglomerate and France's premier media group, now also a major player elsewhere in Europe and especially in the United States. But in its late May acquisition of Nil Editions, virtually a one-woman company with 20 annual titles and more than its share of bestsellers, Havas showed that it is still committed to the general trade and willing to fish for small fry.

Founded in 1993 by Nicole Lattès, the wife of former Hachette CEO Jean-Claude Lattès, Nil has been particularly strong with French authors like Jean d'Ormesson and high-profile personalities including President Jacques Chirac and the Archbishop of Paris; the house also publishes Peter Mayle.

The Havas trade group, whose turnover is more than one billion francs (more than $165 million), will fold Nil into the Robert Laffont group; Nicole Lattès will become Laffont v-p for publishing under new president Leonello Brandolini.