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Trulia to Acquire Market Leader for $355 Million

Trulia Inc., a property-information website, said it plans to acquire software maker Market Leader Inc. for $355 million, expanding its offerings to real estate agents.

The deal includes $6 in cash and 0.155 share of stock for each share of Market Leader, San Francisco-based Trulia said today in a statement. The $11.33 per-share price is an 18 percent premium to Market Leader’s close yesterday.

Trulia, which provides Web and mobile software that matches agents and properties with potential buyers and renters, is adding technology that helps real estate professionals keep track of leads. Trulia is going head-to-head with Zillow Inc., the Seattle-based real estate technology company that has announced four acquisitions in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We’ll be looking to how we can integrate the product experience to create a more valuable service for real estate professionals,” Trulia Chief Executive Officer Pete Flint said today in an interview. “We’ll be working on having each sales force selling both products. That’s a no-brainer.”

Trulia fell 7.8 percent to $31.68 at the close in New York. The decline coincided with a 10 percent slide for Zillow, which reported first-quarter results yesterday.

While Zillow’s revenue and forecast exceeded analysts’ estimates, the company said that it’s doubling advertising spending for the rest of the year.

“The stocks generally trade in some synchronization,” Flint said. “No doubt that the category was negatively impacted by some of the recent news.”

Market Leader, based in Kirkland, Washington, rose 13 percent to $10.84 at the close. The company recorded $45 million in revenue last year. Trulia had sales of $68.1 million.

The deal will eat into Trulia’s cash pile. The company is paying about $162 million in cash, or about three-quarters the amount it reported on its balance sheet at the end of the first quarter. Much of that came from a $113 million follow-on stock offering in March.

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