Torstar to Sell Harlequin to News Corp.

On Friday, May 2, Torstar Corp. announced that it is selling Harlequin Enterprises to News Corp. for 455 million Canadian dollars (in cash). Harlequin will become a division of HarperCollins Publishers (a News Corp. subsidiary) and remain headquartered in Toronto.

According to HarperCollins President and CEO Brian Murray, “The Harlequin name and rich heritage will be preserved independently, with the aim to leverage capabilities to bring the book-reading public more choices. Harlequin’s business has grown internationally, and will give HarperCollins an immediate foothold in 11 new countries from which we can expand into dozens of foreign languages for authors who choose to work with us globally.”

Yet to be answered are questions on how this acquisition will affect future book contract terms (such as royalty rates and rights), library lending policies, continuation of series lines, and acquisition of new authors/works.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and the approval of Torstar’s Class A shareholders, and the parties expect to close the transaction by the end of September.

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