IAC Gets a Bargain in Buying ValueClick Websites

IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet holding company owned by billionaire Barry Diller, got a bargain when it agreed to buy a group of ValueClick Inc. websites for $80 million, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The properties, which include finance-education site Investopedia, were valued at $140 million on a sum-of-the-parts basis, Debra Schwartz, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in a research report. New York-based IAC also should be able to squeeze cost savings out of the sites since they could be integrated with its existing Web search properties, she said.

IAC, which already owns Web addresses such as Match.com and Ask.com, is trying to boost revenue after sales missed estimates last quarter. The ValueClick deal yesterday follows IAC’s $300 million acquisition in 2012 of About.com, which brought more advertising revenue from Internet searches.

The ValueClick websites also include price-comparison platform PriceRunner and properties such as Coupon Mountain. Total traffic to the sites has been weak, though Investopedia is seeing visitor growth, Schwartz said. She expects the new properties to generate $127 million in sales this year. Analysts are projecting total revenue of $3.04 billion for IAC in 2013, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The all-cash deal is expected to close in January, the companies said in a statement yesterday.

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