Monday, September 15th18.0°C
22190
22646

Torstar Corp. sells Harlequin book publishing company to HarperCollins for $455M

TORONTO - Torstar Corp., owner of the Toronto Star and other newspapers, is selling the Harlequin book publishing company for $455 million to global media company News Corp. and it will be run as a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Torstar (TSX:TS.B) says the sale will strengthen its financial position and a portion of the net proceeds will be used for debt reduction.

Harlequin, known for its romance books, has been part of Torstar for 39 years.

Torstar has said lower revenues were the primary challenge at Harlequin as the book publishing company adjusted to the digital environment.

Harlequin has more than 350 employees in Canada, and Torstar says HarperCollins has indicated that Harlequin will remain headquartered in Toronto.

Harlequin publishes the work of more than 1,300 authors and releases more than 110 titles monthly through publishing operations in 16 countries. About 95 per cent of Harlequin's revenues are from outside Canada.

Torstar acquired a controlling interest in Harlequin in 1975 and acquired the remaining interest in 1981.

"While making the decision to sell has been difficult, we are confident that this transaction represents excellent value for Torstar shareholders and it also further strengthens the financial position of Torstar," said David Holland, president and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar.

"This sets the stage for the next chapter in the Harlequin story. HarperCollins is a very well-respected publisher with a tremendous track record of success and will be a good home for Harlequin," Holland said in a statement on Friday.

HarperCollins president and CEO Brian Murray said the acquisition will broaden HarperCollins reach.

"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," Murray said.

The transaction, subject to approvals, is expected to close later this year.

Torstar recently reported in its fourth quarter that its book division's revenue dropped to $95.02 million from $104.99 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, and its operating profit declined to $10.25 million from $14.81 million.

Its media operations faced continued pressure on print advertising revenues, although Torstar has said there was relative improvement in the fourth quarter.

Late last year, Torstar announced it was reorganizing the advertising sales operations at the Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper, and moving them to an affiliated company.

Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with the parent companies of the Globe and Mail and Montreal La Presse.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. It corrects to say that Torstar will sell Harlequin to News Corp. and it will become a division of HarperCollins Publishers

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15482.56-49.021
S&P CDNX981.50-6.43
DJIA17031.1443.63
Nasdaq4518.903-48.696
S&P 5001984.13-1.41
CDN Dollar0.9039-0.0008
Gold1236.80+1.7001
Oil92.79-0.13
Lumber349.00+1.00
Natural Gas3.977-0.02

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.18-0.02
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.29-0.01
Cantex0.06-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.25+0.01
Metalex Ventures0.065-0.005
Russel Metals36.17-0.09
Copper Mountain Mining2.70-0.18
Colorado Resources0.155-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.024-0.0078
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.265-0.01

 



22967

FEATURED Property
199281310-185 Taylor road
3 bedrooms 2 baths
$189,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Power-save your way to a down payment

Part 1 of 2 Photo: Thinkstock.com1. Move in with your parents or in-laws Explain that you're thinking strategically in moving back home. The quickest way to get into the housing market is to ma...


Price Guarantees

Article written by Linda Bustos Though I’d never recommend “lowest prices” as a unique selling proposition, I notice many retailers use a Price Match Guarantee or even a 110% Guara...


Brangelina and Celebrity vs Philanthropy

This week my wife wrote a blog for our charities website, I thought you may enjoy reading it here: I was planning to write about the incredible philanthropic Miss Angelina when, funnily enough, she ...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22962