NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch's publishing group News Corp is planning its biggest acquisition since splitting off its entertainment business, buying real estate listings website Move for $950 million.
The US media giant plans to offer $21 a share, or 37 per cent higher than the NASDAQ price at closing Monday, according to a statement published on Tuesday by the company.
The transaction was unanimously approved by the board of Move and the two sides hope to complete the transaction before the end of the year, the statement said.
With realtor.com and its smartphone apps, Move displays more than 98 per cent of properties for sale in the United States thanks to a strategic partnership with the National Association of Realtors and its millions of members, News Corp said.
The National Association of Realtors has given its approval to the tie-up: "This partnership will help shape the future of real estate" in the United States, said group president Steve Brown, in the News Corp statement.
Based in San Jose, California, Move employs 913 people. The company last year earned revenues of $227 million and $29 million in adjusted EBITDA, a term that refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
The operation is News Corp's largest since the company split in summer 2013 from its entertainment arm, which became 21st Century Fox.
To reduce the cost, News Corp plans to cede 20 per cent of Move to its subsidiary REA Group, which is 61.6 per cent owned by News Corp and operates Australia's largest listings web site, realestate.com.au. The action will cut the total bill for News Corp by $200 million.
Cut off from its profitable television and film business and with print media suffering, the "new" News Corp didn't seem well equipped to grow.
To date, the company had only made one major acquisition, of the romance novel publisher Harlequin, for 300 million euros.