Updated: The official release is out, and the final price is $345 million, upfront cash plus performance based over the next three years. Business.com CEO Jake Winebaum will be appointed as President of RHD’s interactive unit (RHDi), which will now include DexKnows.com, LocalLaunch search engine marketing company, Business.com, Work.com and the Business.com Advertising Network. Revenues are expected to exceed $50 million in 2007 and they currently have about 6000 customers. Lots more details on the acquisition in RDH’s Q2 conference call…see the transcript here.
Original post: Business.com, the Santa Monica-based business info, directory and search site, has been sold to R.H. Donnelley (NYSE:RHD), the yellow pages and local search firm, paidContent.org has learned, for $345 million
slightly above $350 million, close to what the company was expecting. The auction was heated, and initially included IAC, New York Times, DJ and News Corp. IAC didn’t end up bidding, News Corp dropped out as the price went above $300 million, Dow Jones couldn’t pull it together in the wake of all the turmoil with News Corp bid, and New York Times was in there until late in the game.
Business.com’s 2007 EBITDA is about $15 million, a WSJ story said last month, breaking the news about it being for sale. The site was a laughing stock of the industry at one point, when Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton plunked down $7.5 million on a single Internet domain name back in 1999, making it one of the biggest ever. The company started as a business portal, but went almost bust after the dotcom bubble, and then came back, focused on its directory and vertical search business, as well as the launch of its B2B PPC ads service. Last year it launched Work.com, a business guide which features content from users/experts in various areas. The company raised a $10 million round in 2004.
Meanwhile, RHD publishes the AT&T, Dex and Embarq yellow pages, and had made some big online forays: last month it re-launched DexKnows.com, its new online local search site. This WSJ story from earlier this month examines how RHD and competitor Idearc are coping with online competition. “The companies are heading online to retain advertisers and consumers, but the companies still make almost all their money from books. Analysts say Donnelley, which operates dexknows.com, receives less than 2% of its revenue from the Internet, while Idearc, which owns superpages.com, receives about 9%.”