Summary:

Barry Diller’s IAC/Interactive will buy the New York Times’ About Group in a $300 million cash deal. Peter Horan’s Answers.com had been set to buy About.com for $270 million before Diller got in a late-stage bid last week.

IAC
photo: Flickr / Jeff Howard

Barry Diller has won his bid to buy the About Group, a division of The New York Times Company, for $300 million.

Reuters reported last Tuesday that Diller’s IAC/Interactive was making a late-stage bid for About.com, which was in the early stages of selling itself to Answers.com for $270 million. The New York Times reported on its Media Decoder blog on Sunday afternoon that the $300 million cash deal will be officially announced Monday.

The New York Times bought the About Group in 2005 for $410 million. “About’s early expertise in search engine optimization, expert content and revenues from cost-per-click and display advertising made it a valuable component of our portfolio for the past seven years,” Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., NYT Company chairman, said in a statement. “This sale will allow the Times Company to focus on the development and growth of our core brands locally, nationally and on a global scale.”

IAC, which is #32 on this year’s pc50 list of the world’s most successful digital media companies, has over 50 Internet businesses in 30 countries, including search sites Ask.com and Dictionary.com as well as online dating sites like Match.com, local listing sites like Citysearch and media sites like College Humor.

All Things Digital’s Peter Kafka, who originally broke the news that the NYT was selling off About.com, reports that Diller’s all-cash offer “helped sway the Times and its Allen & Co. bankers. Answers and its private equity backers Summit Partners and TA Associates were going to finance the deal with debt, and would have included equity in Answers as part of the transaction.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Jeff Howard

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