News Corp. to buy Investor's Business Daily for $275 million

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FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, Fox News chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch attends the WSJ. Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Murdoch says Facebook should pay fees to "trusted" news producers for their content. Murdoch, whose companies own The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the New York Post and other media properties, said Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, that publishers are "enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services." (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
News Corp., controlled by Rupert Murdoch, says it will pay $275 million for Investor's Business Daily. (Evan Agostini / Invision)

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has agreed to buy Investor’s Business Daily from O’Neil Capital Management for $275 million, continuing the legacy media company's push into digital publishing.

News Corp. said Thursday that it planned to fold the Los Angeles-based business, which includes the Investor's website, into its Dow Jones subsidiary, which also publishes the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron's. Investor's Business Daily, which currently has about 130 employees, will remain a stand-alone brand within News Corp. once the acquisition is completed. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

The purchase comes as increasing numbers of individual investors have been buying into the stock market, which has been on a bull run since early in the pandemic.

Founded in 1984 by entrepreneur William J. O’Neil, Investor's Business Daily developed proprietary data and research tools to identify top-performing stocks. The model was based on O'Neil's investment philosophies.

IBD used to publish a daily newspaper, but the company shifted its focus to digital platforms, and since 2016 its print edition has been weekly. IBD has nearly 100,000 digital subscribers across its various platforms, which include IBD Live, MarketSmith, Leaderboard and SwingTrader. The privately held company derives 90% of its revenue and subscriptions from its digital offerings, making IBD an attractive play for News Corp., which has found success selling premium digital subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal.

News Corp.’s financial outlets, including the Journal, compete with Bloomberg News, CNBC, Reuters and the Financial Times for the investor audience.

“IBD will greatly enhance our e-expertise in finance, with compelling digital coverage, unique tools and high-yielding services," News Corp. Chief Executive Robert Thomson said in a statement. "We will be able to cross-sell and up-sell with Dow Jones financial products and provide specialist insights for a knowing business audience.”

O’Neil, who was born in Oklahoma in 1933, came to Los Angeles during the postwar boom after graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and serving in the Air Force. His first stock purchase was a few shares of Procter & Gamble. He joined the L.A. brokerage Hayden, Stone and Co. in 1958 and, five years later, launched his own firm, William O'Neil + Co. He started a mutual fund and steadily grew his business.

O'Neil launched Investor's Business Daily in 1984 and later wrote the book "How to Make Money in Stocks."

"We pride ourselves on helping to educate and empower investors so that they can make smarter, more profitable investing decisions," his son, William Scott O’Neil, the CEO of O’Neil Capital Management and Investor’s Business Daily, said in a statement. "We can’t think of a better place than News Corp. and Dow Jones to take Investor’s Business Daily into its next phase of growth and create even more value for our loyal subscribers."

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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