CoStar Group buys for $585 million

CoStar Group buys for $585 million

By Jonathan O’Connell, Published: March 3

District-based CoStar Group announced Monday that it has acquired the online apartment search company for $585 million.

CoStar is a top provider of data and information on commercial real estate in the United States and Europe through subscription-based Web sites., previously owned by Chicago-based Classified Ventures, will give CoStar insight into the growing $2 trillion apartment rental industry.

In the transaction, CoStar also will acquire the Web sites and Last year the three sites collectively generated 114 million visits and an average of 7 million unique monthly visitors, according to CoStar. They had about $86 million in total revenue.

“This was a very thorough process, and we are confident that the sale to CoStar will allow to continue to grow and flourish,” Dan Jauernig, chief executive of Classified Ventures, said in a statement. “CoStar has demonstrated an understanding of the value of and a commitment to its growth. We look forward to working with them to consummate the sale.”

Prominent newspaper companies were among the owners of Graham Holdings, the former parent of The Washington Post, owned a 16.5 percent interest in and said it expected to receive about $95 million at closing. Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, owned a 26.9 percent interest in and reported that it expected to receive about $155 million. Other owners included Tribune and McClatchy.

The deal follows CoStar’s $860 million acquisition of LoopNet, the commercial real estate industry’s most heavily trafficked site. That deal closed in the spring of 2012. Since the LoopNet deal, CoStar’s stock price has been on the rise, starting at $72 the day after the deal closed and closed Monday at $200.28 per share.

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