News Corp has acquired US property agency Move for just under $1bn in a bid to expand the group into real estate – hedging its bets on the recovering property market.
As a result of the $950m deal, Rupert Murdoch’s firm now owns 80 per cent of the realtor with News Corp subsidiary REA Group set to purchase the remaining 20 per cent. Under the agreement News Corp will acquire all of Move’s out-standing shares at $21 a unit.
As one of the US’s leading property websites, Move sourced over 98 per cent of for-sale properties listed in the US though partnerships with 800 multiple listing services.
This granted the website’s 35 million monthly users access to a wide range of properties.
Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, 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.
“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.”
Thomson added: “In addition to boosting Move’s subscription, advertising and software services, this acquisition will give News Corp a significant marketing platform for our media assets, which will benefit from the high-quality geographic data generated by real estate searches.”
Earlier this year Murdoch pulled News Corp out of a tenacious $75bn bid for Time Warner, marking one of the biggest defeats in the Australian’s six-decade career.