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News Corp to Acquire Move, Inc. in $950 Million Deal

money-stepsNews Corp, one of the world's biggest mass media companies, is buying online real estate firm Move, Inc., in a $950 million cash deal, the companies announced Tuesday morning.

Under the acquisition agreement, which was unanimously approved by Move's board, News Corp will acquire all of Move's outstanding shares at the cost of $21 per share. The buy represents a premium of 37 percent over Move's closing stock price at the end of trading on Monday. News Corp said it will commence a tender offer for all shares of Move's common stock within 10 business days, following that with a merger to acquire any untendered shares.

Through the deal, News Corp says it hopes to become a leading player in the expanding arena of online real estate through Move's various tools and its listing site, Realtor.com.

"We have great faith in America's potential and the long-term asset value of housing, which is continuing its recovery and has yet to regain its full potency," said Robert Thomson, chief executive at News Corp. "It is forecast that the number of millennial households will increase from 13.3 million in 2013 to 21.6 million in 2018, and they will spend more than $2 trillion on home purchases and rent by 2018. Many will begin their search online and use tools and content on realtor.com."

The deal comes two months after two of Move's biggest competitors, Zillow and Trulia, announced plans to merge.

Australian-based REA Group Limited, which is 61.6 percent owned by News Corp and operates RealEstate.com.au, will hold a 20 percent stake in Move, acquiring its share for approximately $200 million. News Corp will hold the remainder.

Through Realtor.com and its mobile applications, Move displays more than 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the United States, sourcing its data from relationships with hundreds of multiple listing services nationwide. The company's network of websites reaches an estimated 35 million users per month, with 90 percent of page views going to "for sale" property links.

In addition, Move benefits from an exclusive relationship with the National Association of Realtors, which has given its consent to the acquisition.

"This partnership will help shape the future of real estate," said National Association of Realtors President Steve Brown. "News Corp's ability to reach and engage consumers, combined with realtor.com's quality content and the real insights Realtors provide will transform the current landscape. Working together, Realtors, Move and News Corp will truly make home happen."

Move will continue to remain headquartered in San Jose following the acquisition, the companies said.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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