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Privately-held Primedia To Buy Rent.com From EBay

Privately-held real estate listings website provider Primedia, Inc. agreed to buy smaller rival Rent.com from its owner, online auctioner eBay, Inc. (EBAY), in order to provide its advertisers more options and greater visibility. Rent.com is a leading Internet listing website in the apartment and rental housing industry.

The terms of the deal, expected to close second quarter of fiscal 2012, were not disclosed by the companies. The combined entity will be led by Primedia President and CEO Charles Stubbs.

Rent.com, founded in 2000 by Scott Ingraham and Allan Hunter, is a wholly owned subsidiary of San Jose, California-based eBay, which acquired it in February 2005 for $425 million in cash.

"Rent.com has a strong reputation, brand awareness, history and URL. Both Rent.com and PRIMEDIA have long track records of delivering a high-quality consumer and client experience in the marketplace," Stubbs said in a statement.

The acquisition of Rent.com will be complementary to Primedia's category-leading web sites and mobile applications. Rent.com runs a successful pay-for-performance business model.

The combined entity will also provide advertiser clients a broader range of innovative products and services that deliver cost-effective and high quality leads and leases.

Primedia, acquired by affiliates of private investment firm TPG Capital in July 2011, is already the owner of web properties such as ApartmentGuide.com, Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com and NewHomeGuide.com. Primedia is also the parent company of Consumer Source Inc.

"We are excited to be joining PRIMEDIA, a leading vertical search company in the apartment and rental housing sector. Rent.com fits in nicely with PRIMEDIA's mission of being the go-to resource to help people find the perfect place to live," said Bill McKnight, Rent.com General Manager.

EBAY closed Thursday's regular trading session at $37.62, up $0.20 or 0.53% on a volume of 7.15 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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