Speaking at the UBS Media Conference earlier this week, Robert Thomson, CEO of HarperCollins parent company News Corp, discussed the company’s philosophy about acquisitions, including HC’s purchase of Harlequin. The Harlequin acquisition gives HC not only a global platform, but also a way for HC to learn about differences in various countries, Thomson said.

HC CEO Brian Murray has just returned from Japan where he visited Harlequin’s offices, Thomson reported, and HC will use Harlequin’s experience in the Japanese market to help expand HC’s presence there and eventually throughout the rest of Asia. Understanding the nuances of different countries is crucial to HC’s global strategy, Thomson said.

Thomson told the analysts that News is “impatient” about integrating its acquisitions with existing News properties, explaining that acquisitions are really only worthwhile if they can add value to the parent company. He called Murray “a wonderful consolidator,” citing his work in merging Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.

Thomson also said News may have been conservative in estimating how much costs savings will come from the combination of Harlequin and HC, which the company had originally pegged at about $20 million. Thomson is “optimistic” about how the expense side will turn out after the consolidation is completed.

It wasn’t only costs savings that attracted News to Harlequin, Thomson said, but also opportunities for international expansion and new ways to monetize Harlequin’s titles, including its backlist. And Thomson said he thinks there is more for potential for consolidation in the book industry and that News will be willing to get involved again,”but not at any price.”