Report: Internet Brands to be Acquired for $1.1 Billion

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According to an article in The New York Times’ Deal Book  that appeared this morning, Internet Brands is being acquired by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in a deal that is reportedly worth $1.1 billion. The deal was  announced by Internet Brands in a pdf, although it does not appear that they are reporting the price or any terms of the deal.

This is a major deal, and there are domain investment implications because of the Internet Brands portfolio of domain name assets.

If you’ve done more than a few Whois searches for great keyword domain names, chances are very good that you’ve seen Internet Brands in some of your Whois lookups. Just a few examples of exact match .com domain names in their portfolio include:

  • Lawyers.com
  • DoItYourself.com
  • Loan.com
  • Autos.com
  • WAHM.com (work at home moms)
  • PlasticSurgeons.com
  • BreastReduction.com

Internet Brands also appears to own a ton of longer tail geographic domain names as well. You can do a free search on Whoisology to see some of the domain names attributed to the company.

If you recognize the name of the PE firm that is reportedly acquiring Internet Brands, perhaps it is because of their relationship with GoDaddy. In 2011, Deal Book also announced that KKR and another firm (Silver Lake Partners) had agreed to acquire domain registrar, GoDaddy.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Great acquisition. InternetBrands was actually purchased back in 2010, including the NursingJobs.org website. Internet Brands has awesome domains, but there are also some unappealing domains in this portfolio, as well.

  2. Lawyers.com is Martindale Hubbell. They are a former partner. I don’t believe that has anything to do with Internet Brands.

  3. Lawyers dot com is Martindale Hubbell. They are a former partner. I don’t believe that has anything to do with Internet Brands.

  4. Sounds a brave decision. With all the new gTLDs coming out over the next year or so there will be a lot more choice for consumers.

    If the new gTLDs become accepted as respected domains then I can only see a drop in the prices of .com websites.

    This is a gamble that the gTLDs will not affect .com prices and it’s a pretty big one if the $1.1bn is accurate!

    • That’s a good point but rather then being a brave decision at that price, as .com should still retain a decent share of an expanding market in domains overall, it probably highlights the elevated prices that should be involved when consolidation occurs with the gtld companies.

      Those with prime, multi domain portfolios such as Minds + Machines should attract some really intense takeover interest with correspondingly high figures involved.

      • What domain names does Minds + Machines own? I know they will be operating some of the new gTLD registries, but I am unsure of the “prime, multi domain portfolios” you are referencing.

        Do you own stock in the company?

  5. Have a look at their website Elliot. They already have a list of uncontested domains as well as the ones they’ve already bid for in recent auction rounds such as .Yoga. Early reports say they’ve also picked up .Fashion.

    They’re also partnering or have majority interests in some of the top geo domains such as.London.

    Watch this space.

    • An example of a domain name is DomainInvesting.com.

      An example of a TLD is .com, which is operated by Verisign.

      What domain names do Minds & Machines own that impress you?

      Do you own any stock in Minds & Machines?

  6. As far as expecting the company to be bought out, its something their own CEO mentioned as a natural progression for the company as part of consolidation in the sector.

    The past history of the directors seems to validate that eventuality.

    As I said, keep that in mind and let’s see how this one turns out for the company under discussion.

    Who’ll buy them out? Probably a player who’ll look to gain sufficient traction in the space & a cheque book to match.

  7. I’m referring to top level domains in the context of Gaz’s original post referring to the new gtlds and the decision by KKR.

  8. Okay, disregard it and go back to my original response to Gaz without mention of Minds + Machines., which certainly doesn’t need to be pumped.

  9. I don’t understand how a value-added company like Internet Brands gets sold for $1.1 billion, while a company like SnapChat turns down $3 billion. It’s insane. For 1/3 of the cost, you could pick up a company that has a portfolio of businesses and not just depending on one “unproven” business model to sustain it.

  10. Why did Wassapp get taken over by Facebook for $19Bn on an annual turnover of $25M?

    There’s a rationale (or perceived rationale) there somewhere for the parties involved, although not so clear to those on the outer periphery.

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