sold to CoStar Group for $585 million in cash

Classified Ventures, a joint venture of A.H. Belo, Gannett, McClatchy, The Tribune Company and Graham Holdings, today announced that it had sold to CoStar Group for $585 million in cash. CoStart Group, a provider of commercial real estate information, is being backed by lending from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Bank.

apartments-logo-ver70378Each of the newspaper properties will receive proceeds in the sale that will boost their bottom lines, with proceeds distributed based on their stake in the joint venture. A.H. Belo. with owns approximated 3 percent of Classified Ventures, said this morning that they expect their windfall to be around $18 million from the sale.

“This was a very thorough process, and we are confident that the sale to CoStar will allow to continue to grow and flourish,” Classified Ventures CEO CEO Dan Jauernig said. “CoStar has demonstrated an understanding of the value of and a commitment to its growth.”’s acquisition is expected to compliment CoStar’s own LoopNet commercial real estate online product, with the new acquisition’s 140 sales staff bringing added sales power to CoStar Group’s revenue generating efforts.

The Apartments sales force gives us a robust advertising field sales force that we believe when combined with our existing sales team, will be invaluable in selling advertising solutions for both Apartments and LoopNet thereby further accelerating LoopNet’s revenue growth,” said Andrew C. Florance, CEO of CoStar Group.

“In much the same way LoopNet revolutionized how owners and brokers market the commercial real estate sectors of office, industrial and retail, Apartments has transformed the way owners and property managers market their commercial real estate’s apartment buildings, moving them from the classified ads section of Classified Ventures owners’ newspapers to more effective online advertising,” Florance said. has two apps currently inside the Apple App Store – its main apartment search app called – Apartment Search, and Rental Homes Plus, which concentrates on home rentals. Both apps are universal.