News Corp to buy Move
REA Group Limited, which is 61.6% owned by News Corp and is the operator of the leading Australian residential property website, realestate.com.au, plans to hold a 20% stake in Move with 80% held by News Corp.
Through realtor.com and its mobile applications, Move displays more than 98% of all for-sale properties listed in the US, sourced directly from relationships with more than 800 Multiple Listing Services across the country.
As a result, Move has the most up-to-date and accurate for-sale listings of any online real estate company in America. The Move Network of websites, which also includes Move.com, reaches approximately 35 million people per month, who spend an average of 22 minutes each on its sites.
Move's content advantage makes it well positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing US online real estate sector and the world's largest residential real estate market. More than five million homes in the United States are bought and sold each year, representing more than $1 trillion in annual transaction volume.
Agents and brokers are expected to spend approximately $14 billion in 2014 and an additional $11 billion will be spent by mortgage providers.
Under the acquisition agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of Move, News Corp will acquire all the outstanding shares of Move for $21 per share, or approximately $950 million (net of Move's existing cash balance), via an all-cash tender offer. This represents a premium of 37% over Move's closing stock price on September 29, 2014. REA's share will be acquired for approximately $200 million.
News Corp intends to commence a tender offer for all of the shares of common stock of Move within 10 business days, followed by a merger to acquire any untendered shares. ■