News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) agreed Tuesday to acquire Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE), the owner of property websites such as realtor.com, for about $950 million to accelerate its digital and global expansion.
Despite being relatively small, News Corp anticipates a lot of growth potential for Move.
Acquisition at 37% premium
As part of the deal announced today, News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS), the publishing company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, will acquire all the outstanding shares of Move for $21 per share, or approximately $950 million through an all-cash tender offer. The deal represents a premium of 37% over Move’s closing stock price yesterday.
Move Inc owns property websites such as realtor.com. Through realtor.com and its mobile applications, the company displays over 98% of all for-sale properties listed in the US. The leading provider of online real estate services has the most up-to-date and accurate for-sale listings of any online real estate company in America. The Move Network of websites, which also includes Move.com, reaches approximately 35 million people per month, who spend an average of 22 minutes each on its sites.
For the year ending December 31, 2013, Move reported $227 million in revenues and $29 million in adjusted EBITDA, and generated the highest revenue per unique user in the industry.
Move also operates moving.com and SeniorHousing.net. It competes with Trulia Inc and Zillow Inc.
As reported earlier, Zillow Inc (NASDAQ:Z) agreed to buy Trulia Inc (NYSE:TRLA) for $3.5 billion in July, combining the top two U.S. real estate websites.
News Corp venturing into new businesses
Tuesday’s deal announcement is the largest by Murdoch’s publishing arm as it seeks to add operations that stretch beyond newspapers. The publishing company announced earlier this year its acquisition of Harlequin Enterprises for $415 million to add the well-known publisher of romance novels to its stable.
The publishing company’s latest deal to acquire Move Inc. is expected to close by the end of the year. While News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) will own about 80% of Move, its Australian affiliate, REA Group Ltd., will own 20%.
Exuding confidence over the latest deal, Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) said: “This acquisition will accelerate News Corp’s digital and global expansion and contribute to the transformation of our company, making online real estate a powerful pillar of our portfolio”.
Outlining the future strategy, he said: “We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the US. We are building on our existing real estate expertise and expect to leverage the potential of Move and its valuable connections with Realtors and consumers around the country”.