Torstar Announces Strategic Alliance With Women.com

Posted on June 30, 1999

Torstar Corporation has announced its plans to develop a major Internet presence in electronic commerce for its Harlequin Book Publishing business. As the first step, Harlequin has signed an agreement to partner with Women.com Networks, a leading Internet network for women, to integrate Harlequin into the Women.com Network. Torstar's board has approved and intends to make an equity investment in Women.com Networks, including the appointment of Torstar President and CEO David Galloway to the Women.com Board of Directors.

Harlequin's strategy is to build a strong community-of-interest website that will attract romance readers that are online. It is estimated that by 2002, over 20 million romance readers will be online in the United States. Visitors to the Harlequin website on Women.com will have the opportunity to purchase Harlequin books, join the book club, discuss the latest titles with authors and other readers and learn to write romance novels.

David Galloway, President and C.E.O of Torstar Corporation, said, "Creating this web site is a tremendous opportunity that few Canadian companies can match. We have an international brand name, the ability to advertise our site in the 160 million books we publish worldwide, and we already have the capability to do e-commerce fulfillment. We intend to spend up to Cdn. $30 million over the next three years to ensure we are the pre-eminent romance site on the web. This partnership with Women.com, a top destination for women on the web, is an excellent first step toward achieving our goal."

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