Welcome!

News Feed Item

Torstar to Sell Harlequin to News Corp

Harlequin will become a division of HarperCollins Publishers, a News Corp Subsidiary

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/02/14 -- Torstar Corporation today announced it has entered into an agreement to sell all of the shares of Harlequin Enterprises Limited to News Corp. It will be run as a division of HarperCollins Publishers, a subsidiary of News Corp.

The purchase price is $455 million Canadian payable in cash at closing. Torstar intends to apply a portion of the net proceeds to debt reduction. The company will retain the remainder of the proceeds pending a thorough review of its future cash requirements and potential investment opportunities.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Torstar board of directors, is subject to customary approvals and closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The parties anticipate closing the transaction by the end of the third quarter of 2014.

"Harlequin has been an important part of Torstar over the past 39 years and we are very proud of the global success it has achieved," said David Holland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation. "While making the decision to sell has been difficult, we are confident that this transaction represents excellent value for Torstar shareholders and it also further strengthens the financial position of Torstar. This sets the stage for the next chapter in the Harlequin story. HarperCollins is a very well-respected publisher with a tremendous track record of success and will be a good home for Harlequin. The sale will benefit Harlequin in the years ahead by providing the company, its terrific management team and its employees with exciting opportunities to continue to grow."

"Harlequin has built one of the largest and most widely recognized consumer brands in publishing with a highly focused publishing program for women," said Brian Murray, President and CEO of HarperCollins. "We are thrilled to welcome Harlequin's management and staff in Toronto and around the world to the HarperCollins family. 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."

HarperCollins has indicated that Harlequin will remain headquartered in Toronto, as will the offices of HarperCollins Canada.

"We are excited to be joining HarperCollins Publishers," said Craig Swinwood, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin. "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 regulatory approvals required include competition clearances in Canada and the United States and approval under the Investment Canada Act.

The transaction is also subject to the approval of Torstar's Class A shareholders. The voting trustees of the Torstar Voting Trust, which controls approximately 98 per cent of the Class A voting shares of Torstar, have entered into a voting support agreement pursuant to which they have agreed irrevocably to vote all Class A shares under the Voting Trust in favour of the transaction at a special meeting of shareholders of Torstar to be called to approve the transaction. The board of directors of Torstar is recommending that holders of Torstar's Class A shares vote in favour of the transaction. Full details of the transaction and the special meeting will be included in an information circular to be mailed to Torstar shareholders in May 2014.

Harlequin was founded in 1949. Torstar acquired a controlling interest in Harlequin in 1975 and acquired the remaining interest in 1981. Today, Harlequin is a leading publisher of women's fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 34 languages and sold in 102 international markets. Harlequin publishes the work of more than 1,300 authors and releases more than 110 titles monthly through publishing operations in 16 countries, either through wholly-owned operating units or joint ventures. Approximately 95 per cent of Harlequin's revenues are from outside of Canada.

Harlequin has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, including more than 350 in Canada.

In 2013, Harlequin had total segment revenues of $398 million and segment EBITDA of $56 million, which accounted for 29% and 32% of Torstar's consolidated revenues and EBITDA (on a segmented basis) respectively.(i)

BMO Capital Markets is acting as the financial advisor and McCarthy Tetrault LLP and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP are acting as the legal advisors for Torstar.

INVESTOR CONFERENCE CALL DETAILS

Torstar will host a conference call with the investment community at 8:15 AM EST to discuss this announcement. To participate in the conference call, please call 416-340-2217 / 1-866-696-5910, participant passcode 5448893. A live broadcast of the conference call will also be available over the internet on the Presentations, Events and Conference Calls page (Investor Relations) of our web site at www.torstar.com. For anyone unable to participate, a recording of the conference call will be available for 9 days at 905-694-9451 / 1-800-408-3053, passcode number 8726470.

About Torstar Corporation

Torstar Corporation is a broadly based media and book publishing company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Its businesses include the Star Media Group led by the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, Free Daily News Group Inc., which publishes the English-language Metro newspapers in several Canadian cities; Metroland Media Group, publisher of community and daily newspapers in Ontario and also include digital properties including thestar.com, Workopolis, wagjag.com, toronto.com, save.ca, Olive Media, and eyeReturn Marketing; and Harlequin, a leading global publisher of books for women.

Torstar's news releases are available on the Internet at www.torstar.com.

About Harlequin

Harlequin (www.Harlequin.com) is one of the world's leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in 34 languages and sold in 102 international markets. The company publishes more than 110 titles monthly and more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation (www.torstar.com), a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Harlequin's website is located at Harlequin.com. Harlequin has offices in 16 countries, including offices in Toronto, New York and London. For more information, please visit Harlequin.com and Facebook.com/HarlequinBooks. Follow Harlequin on Twitter @HarlequinBooks.

About News Corp

News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS)(NASDAQ: NWSA)(ASX: NWS)(ASX: NWSLV) is a global, diversified media and information services company focused on creating and distributing authoritative and engaging content to consumers throughout the world. The company comprises businesses across a range of media, including: news and information services, cable network programming in Australia, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education, and pay-TV distribution in Australia. Headquartered in New York, the activities of News Corp are conducted primarily in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. More information: www.newscorp.com.

About HarperCollins Publishers

HarperCollins Publishers, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, is a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS)(NASDAQ: NWSA)(ASX: NWS)(ASX: NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. HarperCollins is a broad-based publisher with strengths in literary and commercial fiction, business books, children's books, cookbooks, narrative nonfiction, mystery, romance, reference, pop culture, design, health, wellness, and religious and spiritual books. With nearly 200 years of history, HarperCollins has published some of the world's foremost authors, including winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, and the Caldecott Medal. HarperCollins is consistently at the forefront of innovation, using digital technology to create unique reading experiences and expand the reach of its authors. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers online at: www.harpercollins.com.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements about the proposed acquisition by HarperCollins Publishers of all of the outstanding shares of Harlequin Enterprises Limited, including, among others, forward-looking statements about management's expectations regarding the expected timing and benefits of the transaction, the timing of the Torstar shareholders meeting and publication and distribution of related shareholder materials, obtaining regulatory approvals and meeting other closing conditions to the transaction, the expected benefits of the transaction and the use of proceeds from the transaction. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "forecast", "expect", "intend", "would", "could", "if", "may" and similar expressions. All such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. These statements reflect current expectations of management regarding future events and performance, and speak only as of the date of this release. In addition, forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

By their very nature, forward-looking statements require management to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is a significant risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections will not prove to be accurate, that management's assumptions may not be accurate and that actual results, performance or achievements may differ significantly from such predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements in this press release as a number of factors could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from the targets, outlooks, expectations, goals, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements.

These factors include, but are not limited to: the ultimate outcome of the transaction, including the risk that the transaction may not close, the risk that Harlequin's business will be adversely impacted during the pendency of the acquisition, the parties' ability to obtain regulatory approvals on a timely basis, general economic conditions in the principal markets in which Harlequin operates; Harlequin's ability to compete with other forms of media and media platforms; dependence on key personnel; loss of reputation; privacy and confidential information; and intellectual property rights. We caution that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all possible factors, as other factors could adversely affect our results.

In addition, a number of assumptions, including those assumptions specifically identified throughout this press release, were applied in making the forward-looking statements set forth in this press release. Some of the key assumptions include, without limitation, expected benefits from the transaction, assumptions regarding the performance of the North American and global economies; tax laws in the countries in which we operate; continued availability of financing on appropriate terms; market competition; expected future revenues and expected future cash flows. There is a risk that some or all of these assumptions may prove to be incorrect.

When relying on our forward-looking statements to make decisions with respect to the Company and its securities, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. The Company does not intend, and disclaims any obligation to, update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, or whether as a result of new information or otherwise, except as may be required by law.

For more information, please see the discussion of risks affecting Torstar and its businesses in Torstar's 2013 Management's Discussion & Analysis which has been filed on www.sedar.com and is available on Torstar's corporate website www.torstar.com.

(i)Non-IFRS measures

This press release references EBITDA which is a non-IFRS measure. Unless otherwise indicated, references to EBITDA in this press release means adjusted segmented EBITDA. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is a measure that is also used by many of Torstar's shareholders, creditors, other stakeholders and analysts as a proxy for the amount of cash generated by Torstar's operations or by a reporting unit or business segment such as Harlequin. EBITDA is not the actual cash provided by operating activities and is not a recognized measure of financial performance under IFRS. Torstar calculates EBITDA as operating revenue less salaries and benefits and other operating costs as presented on the consolidated statement of income. EBITDA excludes restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets. Torstar's method of calculating EBITDA (including calculating EBITDA on an adjusted basis to exclude restructuring and other charges and impairment of assets) may differ from other companies and accordingly may not be comparable to measures used by other companies. Segmented EBITDA is calculated in the same manner described above, except that it is calculated using total segment results prior to the elimination of proportionately consolidated results for joint ventures.

In addition, segmented Revenues represent Consolidated revenues prior to the elimination of proportionately consolidated revenues for joint ventures.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Recognizing the need to identify and validate information security professionals’ competency in securing cloud services, the two leading membership organizations focused on cloud and information security, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)^2, joined together to develop an international cloud security credential that reflects the most current and comprehensive best practices for securing and optimizing cloud computing environments.
DevOps is not just last year’s buzzword. Companies with DevOps practices are 2.5x more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals. But how do you enable high performance? What can you do right now to start? Find out from DevOps experts including Gene Kim, co-author of "The Phoenix Project," and the Dynatrace Center of Excellence.
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, will discuss using predictive analytics to ...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.