News Corp to buy real estate website operator Move for $950 mln

Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:58am EDT
 
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By Soham Chatterjee and Lehar Maan

(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWSA.O: Quote) will buy Move Inc MOVE.O, the owner of property websites such as realtor.com, for about $950 million to expand its digital marketing business as advertising revenue from its print business dwindles.

The deal is the second large acquisition in the online real estate market this year as property website operators struggle to turn rising revenue into consistent profitability.

Top U.S. real estate website operator Zillow Inc (Z.O: Quote) bought smaller rival Trulia Inc TRLA.N for $3.5 billion in July.

CRT Capital analyst Neil Doshi said the online real estate market remained largely fragmented and there was room for more consolidation.

Realtor.com, like Trulia's trulia.com and Zillow's zillow.com, lists properties for sale or rent on behalf of homeowners and agents and gets revenue through subscriptions and advertising.

Trulia and Zillow lost a combined $30 million in 2013 while Move had a profit of $574,000.

News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and newspapers in the UK and Australia, said it would pay $21 per share for Move, a premium of 37 percent to the stock's Monday close.

Move shares rose to $20.93 in early trading on the Nasdaq, while News Corp shares were down about 1 percent at $16.67.   Continued...

 
News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch attends the Wall Street Journal CEO council annual meeting in Washington, November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed