News Corporation to Acquire William Morrow and Avon Books

Posted on June 18, 1999

The News Corporation Limited and The Hearst Corporation have announced that News Corporation has signed an agreement to purchase the Hearst Book Group consisting of William Morrow & Company and Avon Books. The acquisition brings Morrow/Avon together with News Corporation's HarperCollins Publishers. The transaction is expected to be completed in July.

Frank A. Bennack, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hearst Corporation, commented: "The joining of Morrow and Avon with HarperCollins will result in an enormously powerful publishing company with the scale to compete with the largest worldwide publishers. Although our book publishing companies have made significant progress in recent years, we've known for some time that the Hearst Book Group had to expand by acquisition, seek a merger partner or divest as we have done here. I thank everyone at the Hearst Book Group for their commitment to the company through the years and wish them well in this new association."

HarperCollins Publishers leading categories include literary fiction, business and self-help with bestselling authors such as John Gray, Barbara Kingsolver, Rebecca Wells, Susan Isaacs, Tony Hillerman, Anne Rivers Siddons and Wally Lamb (Regan Books). HarperCollins Children's Books includes bestselling authors such as Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, Jamie Lee Curtis/Laura Cornell and Laura Numeroff/Felicia Bond.

William Morrow & Company and Avon Books are the two operating units of the Hearst Book Group, and together publish 1,000 titles annually and have a combined active inventory of almost 6,000 titles. Avon's imprints include Avon Trade Paperbacks, Avon Camelot, Avon Eos, Avon Flare, Avon Romance, Avon Romantic Treasure, Avon Twilight, Bard, Spike, and WholeCare.

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