credit rating iStock_000029813532SmallHearst Corporation announced that it will purchase from Fimalac S.A. an additional 30 percent interest in global ratings agency Fitch Group, bringing Hearst’s equity interest to 80 percent.  Fimalac will retain a 20 percent equity interest in Fitch Group. The transaction is valued at $1.965 billion.

Hearst acquired its original interest in Fitch Group in March 2006 and had most recently held 50 percent of the company. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015 following receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.

“We believe the credit rating, financial information and risk management services Fitch provides to the global financial community are critical in today’s economy,” said Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst Corporation. “Strategically, Hearst continues to diversify into data and information-based companies while growing its world-class media assets. We are excited to continue to work with Fimalac and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière to make Fitch Group an even bigger success.”

“Since the beginning of our relationship with Fitch, it has seemed to me that the company fits perfectly into the profile of businesses in which Hearst should seek to expand,” said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., former Hearst CEO and current executive vice chairman of Hearst Corporation. “The record of advances in the business over that period shows that excellent management is in place, our partners at Fimalac are aligned with us in strategy for the future and the diversification from our highly-valued traditional portfolio is proving to be rewarding. Stepping up from 50 percent to 80 percent makes great sense and we’re all excited.”

About Hearst Corporation 
Hearst Corporation ( is one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 34 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN; significant holdings in automotive, electronic and medical/pharmaceutical business information companies; a 50 percent stake in global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.

Source: Hearst Corporation