News Corp buys Move to boost its real estate

Rupert Murdoch is moving into real estate
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp yesterday stepped further into the digital age with the announcement it would spend $950m (£586m) buying Move, the US company which owns property websites such as realtor.com.

News Corp said it would pay $21 per share, a premium of 37 per cent to Move’s closing price on Monday.

Australian real estate website REA Group, which is 61.6 per cent owned by News Corp, will buy a 20 per cent stake in Move for about $200m.

“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,” said News Corp chief Robert Thomson, who is a former editor of The Times.

A joint statement said Move displays more than 98 per cent of all properties for sale in the US through realtor.com and has a 35m monthly audience.

Thomson said the buy would give News Corp “a significant marketing platform for our media assets”.

Thomson said News Corp was also taking a gamble that the US housing market was improving and “has yet to regain its full potency.”

Move, which started in 1993 and has 913 employees, will stay based in California. Its main competition are the top two sites Zillow and Trulia, who are in the process of merging.

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