Media company Hearst pays $1.97B to boost stake in credit ratings agency Fitch to 80 percent

Hearst Corp., the company behind Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and other magazines, is boosting its stake in credit ratings agency Fitch Group to expand its data and financial information business.

The New York media company said Friday that it will pay $1.97 billion for a 30 percent stake in Fitch from French credit ratings company Fimalac SA. That will bring its Fitch holdings to 80 percent. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Fimalac will keep a 20 percent stake in Fitch.

Hearst, a privately held company, also owns 29 TV stations and 49 newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.