George Kirikos is reporting that LasVegas.com sold in 2005 in a deal valued at nearly $90 million over 35 years. The source of his tweet is a Vegas.com SEC filing from earlier this year that discusses the purchase agreement for LasVegas.com dating to 2005.
— George Kirikos (@GeorgeKirikos) November 6, 2015
Here are some of the details from the SEC filing that spells out the value of this deal:
“In June 2005, VEGAS.com, LLC entered into an agreement for the purchase of LasVegas.com. The agreement specified that a $12,000,000, one-time payment be made upon execution of the agreement along with monthly payments of approximately $83,000 for 36 months, $125,000 for the next 60 months, and then $208,000 for the next 36 months. Per the terms of the agreement, after June 30, 2016, following the 132 initial monthly payments, VEGAS.com, LLC in its sole discretion may terminate the agreement and forfeit the domain name. If VEGAS.com, LLC chooses not to terminate the agreement, they will continue making the monthly payments of approximately $208,000 until June 30, 2040, at which time the seller will transfer the domain name to VEGAS.com, LLC without further payment or cost to VEGAS.com, LLC.”
There are more details about the transaction within the SEC filing if you are interested in reading more about the deal and its value.
I exchanged a couple of emails with George this morning, and he shared the math that shows the value of this deal:
(a) $12 million up front.
(b) 83,000 x 36 = $3 million
(c) 125,000 x 60 = $7.5 million
(d) $208,000 x 36 = $7.5 million
They can terminate in June 30, 2016, and lose the domain. If they keep paying untl 2040 (that’s 24 years, or 288 months), they’d pay $208,000 more per month
(e) $208,000 x 288 = $60 million
Add those all up, it’s $90 million
(the $83,000 and $208,000 figures are approximate)
Interestingly, LasVegas.com is a very different website from Vegas.com. According to the LasVegas.com website about us page, “LasVegas.com is the tourist destination web site of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).” Whois records show that LasVegas.com currently resolves on Vegas.com nameservers. It does not appear that the registrant information has changed during the course of this deal. In fact, the same registrant as today was listed in 2003, according to the DomainTools Whois History tool. That could be because the deal is ongoing through 2040, although that is simply my guess.
Also interestingly, a few months ago, Michael Berkens reported a deal for Vegas.com.
Wikipedia has a page that documents the largest publicly reported domain name sales, although I believe some of the domain names listed on that page included domain names that had websites / businesses. At the present time, the top 5 sales listed on that page are Insurance.com for $35.6 million, VacationRentals.com for $35 million, PrivateJet.com for $30.18 million, Internet.com for $18 million, and 360.com for $17 million.
Obviously a deal for LasVegas.com valued at approximately $90 million would easily move to the top of the list, although LasVegas.com is a developed business. A big issue for reporting this sale is that the deal is not yet completed since it goes through 2040 (another 25 years). A significant chunk of money has already presumably been paid, but the deal is ongoing.
Thanks to George Kirikos for sharing this on Twitter.