Primedia (NYSE: PRM), the big print and online real estate listings company, has been sold to PE firm TPG Capital for $525 million, including debt. Primedia’s properties include rental publication Apartment Guide and housing publication New Home Guide, along with their accompanying websites, as well as real estate listings site Rentals.com.
TPG says in its announcement that “we believe the Company will benefit from the continuing secular transition from print to digital media.” Primedia’s overall revenue dropped nearly 10 percent last year to $232.7 million, a decrease it attributed to “deterioration in the economy generally,” as well as in the housing market. It doesn’t break out its digital revenue, but says that nearly 80 percent of the leads it delivers to its advertisers come from its online and mobile sites.
TPG is paying $7.10 a share for Primedia, which represents a 60 percent premium to the $4.38 Primedia’s stock was trading at on Friday. Primedia, which had previously been controlled by PE firm KKR, had said in January that it was exploring “strategic alternatives,” including a possible sale.
(For media business history buffs: While Primedia is now squarely focused on the real estate listings market, at one point, it published a number of trade magazines and owned About.com. It sold its B2B business to Wasserstein & Co. for $385 million in 2005 and About.com to the New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) for $410 million in 2004).