Saturday, May 03, 2014

HarperCollins Romancing Harlequin

Though regulatory approval is still pending, it looks like Toronto’s Torstar will sell the Harlequin division it has owned for 39 years to HarperCollins for $455 million. From the Victoria Times Colonist:
After nearly four decades of romance, Torstar Corp. and book publisher Harlequin are breaking up.
The owner of the Toronto Star newspaper and other publications announced Friday that it is selling its romance novel division, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., to global media company News Corp. for $455 million in cash. 
"We think we did the right thing in exiting," David Holland, president and CEO of Torstar, said during a conference call to discuss the sale. 
Torstar (TSX:TS.B) said the deal will see Harlequin stay headquartered in Toronto and run as a division of HarperCollins Publishers, also owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. 
"While making the decision to sell was difficult, we are confident that this transaction represents excellent value for Torstar shareholders and importantly further strengthens Torstar's financial position and capital base as we continue in our evolution as a company," Holland told financial analysts. 
Shareholders welcomed the news, as Torstar's stock shot up 22 per cent, or $1.47, to close at $8.15 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its previous 52-week high was $6.95.
See the full piece here while Quill & Quire chimes in here while the Globe & Mail adds their voice here.



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