News Corp buys Harlequin

News Corp buys Harlequin

HarperCollins' parent company News Corp has acquired Harlequin Enterprises from the Canadian Torstar Corporation for C$455m in cash (£246m).

Harlequin will now become a division of HarperCollins.

Brian Murray, president and c.e.o. of HarperCollins, said: "Harlequin has built one of the largest and most widely recognized consumer brands in publishing with a highly focused publishing program for women."

He added: "We are thrilled to welcome Harlequin’s management and staff in Toronto and around the world to the HarperCollins family. The Harlequin name and rich heritage will be preserved independently, with the aim to leverage capabilities to bring the book-reading public more choices. Harlequin’s business has grown internationally, and will give HarperCollins an immediate foothold in 11 new countries from which we can expand into dozens of foreign languages for authors who choose to work with us globally."

Harlequin will continue to be based in Toronto, alongside HarperCollins Canada. The publisher releases around 110 titles per month, with 40% of its revenues coming from non-English language titles.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of NewsCorp, said: "Harlequin is a perfect fit for the new News Corp, vastly expanding our digital platform, extending our reach across borders and languages, and is expected to provide an immediate lift to earnings… 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."

Harlequin publisher and c.e.o. Craig Swinson said: "This transaction will allow Harlequin to continue to operate as a distinct and successful brand within a larger publishing company. We’re excited to be able to take full advantage of HarperCollins’ robust resources, scale and capabilities to expand the reach of our books and grow our business."

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, with closure expected in the third quarter of 2014.

In 2013, Harlequin had revenues of C$398m (£215m).