We certainly don’t see this happen often — in fact, I don’t recall an affiliate merger/acquisition of this size ever (a year ago WhaleShark Media acquired VoucherCodes.co.uk for $40 (£25) million, while in 2010 they paid $90m for RetailMeNot.com in the U.S., and we thought those were impressive) — and when we do they are great signs for the affiliate marketing industry. UK’s famous financial news website Stock Market Wire broke the news earlier this morning:
MoneySupermarket.com has conditionally agreed to acquire MoneySavingExpert as a going concern from founder Martin Lewis, for consideration of up to £87m.
Per Oanda.com the impressive £87m equals $134.54m, and the noteworthy detail is, of course, that both MoneySupermarket.com and MoneySavingExpert (MSE) operate as affiliate marketers.
Interestingly, I’ve noticed that the latter has direct links to other prominent UK affiliates (e.g. to the above-mentioned VoucherCodes.co.uk in their Deals & Vouchers section). However, regardless of these “leaks” they are harvesting good revenues. The above-quoted Stock Market Wire news release says:
In the year ended 31 October 2011, MoneySavingExpert reported revenues of £15.773 million (2010: £11.361 million) and EBITDA of £12.642 million (2010: £8.379 million).
For the record, £15.773 million equals about $24.4 million.
Per Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert, the deal now has to clear the Office of Fair Trading (“which could take a few months”).
MSE now gets 13 million unique users a month, attracting one in four UK adults; obviously, targeting savings-oriented consumers.