Murdoch, News Corp Agree To Harlequin Acquisition

Murdoch, News Corp Agree To Harlequin Acquisition
By News Corp (From announcement of new logo here) [Public domain], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

While it could be argued that Fox News doesn’t deserve the distinction of “trash”, Sean Hannity’s recent defense and hero worship of racist Cliven Bundy still leaves a bad taste in the eyes and ears and his earned itself this distinction recently. While perhaps “fair and balanced,” less contentious is the fact that Harlquin churns out trash. It’s not uncommon for Harlequin to publish over 110 books a month in 34 languages. Perhaps recent title “My Fair Billionaire” caught Mr. Murdoch’s eye recently?

Big money in trash

The publishing company announced today that it would pay $415 million to acquire the romance novel publisher. The company is currently owned by Torstar Corporation but it will soon find itself under the publishing umbrella of News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) ‘s HarperCollins Publishers. News Corp. believes that it will provide the company with immediate “key content vertical.”

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The acquisition will be the largest for News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) since it spun its global television and film empire into 21st Century Fox nearly a year ago.

“Harlequin is a perfect fit for the new News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) , vastly expanding our digital platform, extending our reach across borders and languages, and is expected to provide an immediate lift to earnings,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “Harlequin has a devoted audience around the globe and an empathetic insight into contemporary cultures, which is itself a remarkable resource. This acquisition will broaden the boundaries of both HarperCollins and Harlequin, and is a significant step in our strategy to establish a network of digital properties in the growth regions of the world.”

The details

Harlequin was founded in 1949, and has featured the work of over 1,300 authors with titles available for purchase in over 100 countries. The company will remain based in Toronto, Canada.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, remains subject to regulatory approvals and the approval of Torstar’s Class A shareholders. News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) expects the addition to boost its profits and improve its free cash flow.

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