Rupert Murdoch is doubling down on romance.
News Corp. is buying Harlequin Enterprises, a publisher of novels such as “Destiny’s Last Bachelor?” and “The Heartbreaker Prince,” for $415 million in cash.
Murdoch is purchasing Harlequin from Canada’s Torstar Corp. and will fold it into News Corp.’s HarperCollins books unit, which already has a romance imprint called Avon Romance.
Harlequin was founded 65 years ago and grew to become the world’s biggest publisher of romance novels, which are often referred to as “bodice rippers.” The acquisition gives HarperCollins a foothold in 11 foreign countries and expertise in translations.
The deal also underscore’s CEO Robert Thomson’s strategy of what he calls “globalization and digitization” – the idea that News Corp. needs to sell content better around the world and online.
Harlequin publishes more than 1,300 authors and releases more than 110 titles monthly in 34 languages.
News Corp., which also owns the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, split off from Murdoch’s bigger and more lucrative TV and film business, 21st Century Fox Inc., last June.