News Corp announced today that it has successfully completed its acquisition of Move, Inc., a deal that has been in the works since late September. News Corp, a massive media empire owned by Rupert Murdoch, acquired the leading online real estate business for $950 million, cash—the largest acquisition thus far for the company.
“In partnership with the National Association of Realtors® and its one million members, we look forward to turbo-charging realtor.com® and making it the most popular and profitable property site in America,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp. Thomson said that the acquisition of Move extends News Corp’s operations globally and digitally, and substantially bolsters the real estate pillar of its business. With News Corp representing brands like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, it is projected that the acquisition will further fortify Move’s reach by offering them an expansive audience and a massive marketing opportunity.
“The deal is about merging two content companies from different verticals to bring together two complimentary audiences,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc., in an exclusive interview with RISMedia.
The real estate community is excited about the acquisition, viewing it as a way to further gain consumer trust and expand their reach. At last weekend’s NAR Conference and Expo held in New Orleans, Thomson was interviewed via video in front of over 4,000 REALTORS®, and the response was extremely positive.
“REALTORS® see it like we do: an opportunity to build the brand,” said Berkowitz. “For the most part, everybody is excited.”
But what, exactly, are they excited about? And what can we expect to see happen as the acquisition rolls out?
As Thomson noted at the expo, the goal of the acquisition is to turbocharge traffic.
“You will start to see ways we promote each other,” said Berkowitz. This means seeing content from Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal and more appearing on realtor.com, as well as realtor.com search boxes and widgets popping up on the partner sites.
Move, Inc. will also be working closely with News Corp on data analytics to build up the reputation of realtor.com as the primary source for info on real estate.
In terms of cross-posting content, Berkowitz notes the ample opportunity for NAR members to post their luxury listings on the Wall Street Journal’s hugely popular Mansions page. Realtor.com, on the other hand, will be sharpening its focus on the interactive user experience, with larger photos, more video content, and a lot of evergreen content creation.
“Overall, this is a great opportunity for us to work together to bring News Corp’s content to our registered users, and bring our property information to their registered users,” said Berkowitz.
“We have a great distribution mechanism, and they have a great editorial engine.”
The previously announced tender offer by a subsidiary of News Corp for all of the outstanding shares of Move common stock at a price of $21.00 per share expired as scheduled at the end of the day, 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on November 13, 2014. Excluding shares tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery, a total of approximately 34,299,586 shares were validly tendered into and not withdrawn from the tender offer, representing, together with the shares owned by News Corp and its subsidiaries, approximately 83.1% of Move’s outstanding shares. As a result, News Corp, through its subsidiary, has accepted for payment and will promptly pay for all such validly tendered shares pursuant to the terms of the tender offer.
Following its acceptance of the tendered shares, News Corp completed the acquisition by causing the merger of its subsidiary with and into Move without a vote of Move’s stockholders, pursuant to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law. Upon completion of the merger, Move became an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corp. As a result of the merger and in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, all eligible Move shares not tendered into the tender offer were cancelled and converted into the right to receive $21.00 per share in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes, the same price per share offered in the tender offer. As a result of the acquisition, Move shares ceased to be traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market.
REA Group Limited, in which News Corp owns a 61.6% interest, has entered into a definitive agreement with News Corp to acquire a 20% stake in Move. The transaction is expected to be completed on November 17, 2014.
Stay tuned to RISMedia for continuing coverage of News Corp’s acquisition of Move.