|HarperCollins to acquire Harlequin|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Tuesday, 06 May 2014 04:03 PM EDT|
News Corp announced May 2 that it has agreed to acquire Harlequin Enterprises from media company Torstar Corp. Harlequin will become a division of HarperCollins Publishers, a News Corp subsidiary, and will remain headquartered in Toronto.
As one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, Harlequin has issued titles in 34 languages and in over 100 international markets. The acquisition will extend HarperCollins' global platform, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific, and is expected to accelerate the digital evolution of both companies.
Harlequin publishes the work of more than 1,300 authors and releases more than 110 titles monthly. Approximately 40% of Harlequin's revenues come from books published in languages other than English. Currently, 99% of HarperCollins books are published in English.
"Harlequin is a perfect fit for the new News Corp, vastly expanding our digital platform, extending our reach across borders and languages, and is expected to provide an immediate lift to earnings," said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp. "Harlequin has a devoted audience around the globe and an empathetic insight into contemporary cultures, which is itself a remarkable resource. This acquisition will broaden the boundaries of both HarperCollins and Harlequin, and is a significant step in our strategy to establish a network of digital properties in the growth regions of the world."
Craig Swinwood, publisher and CEO of Harlequin is "excited to be joining HarperCollins Publishers," he said. "This transaction will allow Harlequin to continue to operate as a distinct and successful brand within a larger publishing company. We're excited to be able to take full advantage of HarperCollins' robust resources, scale and capabilities to expand the reach of our books and grow our business."
The purchase price of the acquisition is C$455 million (US $415 million) in cash. Closing is anticipated by the end of the third quarter of calendar year 2014.
Literary Agent Steve Laube of The Steve Laube Agency noted that a large part of Harlequin’s sales is through direct-to-consumer mailing.
“This has what made them unique in the industry,” Laube said. “No one does it better. While some titles make it to the shelves, they stay in the retail environment for only a month until the next books in the line take their place.”
Laube noted that Harlequin’s Love Inspired and Heartsong Presents lines publish approximately 20 new romance novels each month. He posted on his website, stevelaube.com, that 240 new titles per year are “written with the Christian reader in mind,” making Harlequin “the single largest publisher of Christian fiction in the industry by sheer number of annual titles.”