CoStar Group, owner of Apartments.com, snaps up Network Communications, Inc.
$170 million deal involves properties such as Apartment Finder and FinderSocial, its magazine division having been divested last year
ATLANTA, Georgia – April 30, 2015 — Network Communications, Inc., a leading local media company providing lead generation, advertising and Internet marketing services to the multifamily segment of the housing industry, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the Company to a subsidiary of CoStar Group. In a stock transaction valued at $170 million, the sale will include NCI’s flagship business assets associated with Apartment Finder, a leading apartment rental resource among consumers and the industry, FinderSocial, a suite of social media marketing services, and FinderSites, which provides site design and development of community websites. CoStar Group also owns Apartments.com.
In November 2014, NCI completed the divestiture of its magazine division, which included Unique Homes, ByDesign Publishing, and its home design and home improvement titles such as Atlanta Home & Lifestyles, New England Home, Mountain Living, among others.
“We are proud of what we have been able to achieve over the last few years and believe that the combination of our business with CoStar Group is an excellent strategic fit that will create value for our shareholders, employees and customers,” said Fulton Collins, NCI’s Chairman & CEO. “We believe the alliance of Apartment Finder with Apartments.com will accelerate innovation and growth going forward as well as provide superior outcomes for the multifamily industry. ”
Gary Hobart, Managing Director at Beach Point Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based firm whose funds and accounts are beneficial owners of a majority of NCI, commented: “We are grateful for the NCI team’s leadership and contributions. This transaction represents a significant milestone for NCI and a validation of their efforts. We share CoStar Group’s enthusiasm for the opportunities in the apartment space. We look forward to the consummation of this transaction.”
Lion Tree Advisors is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Network Communications, Inc. in this transaction.
Irell & Manella LLP is serving as legal counsel for Network Communications, Inc. in this transaction.