With Purchase of Move, News Corp. Puts Focus on the Internet

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- News Corp. (NWS) , which spun out its 21st Century Fox (FOX) unit to focus on print media, is now spending $950 million of its cash for Move (MOVE) , an online real estate platform whose sites include Realtor.com.

The acquisition puts News Corp. in direct competition with Zillow (Z) , which recently announced it would buy Trulia (TRLA) for $3.5 billion.

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In announcing the deal, CEO Robert Thomson said News Corp. can surpass Zillow because that company will have to spend time integrating Trulia while News Corp. will immediately start using its Wall Street Journal Marketplace, WSJ.com and Barron's platforms, as well as its other newspaper sites, to push links to Realtor.com.

News Corp. is paying 32 times what Move earned last year before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Move's revenue last year was $227 million, and its net income was just $574,000.

Move's market cap before the deal was $612 million. News Corp. will buy the company with some of its $3.14 billion cash on hand.

The deal is being structured to give REA Group, an Australian real estate listings company in which News Corp. owns a majority stake, 20% of Move and operating control. News Corp. will buy Move through a tender offer under Delaware law, buying all the stock once a majority of shareholders approve.

News Corp. has work to do to make its new site competitive, as a quick look at a Realtor.Com and Zillow page covering a sample Atlanta neighborhood shows. The Realtor.com page is a list of listings. The Zillow page is an interactive map showing comparable prices throughout the area.

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