NEW YORK – Bankrate, Inc. on Nov. 5 announced an agreement to sell its insurance business, insuranceQuotes, to All Web Leads, Inc., a portfolio company of Genstar Capital Partners. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to close by December 31, 2015.
The insuranceQuotes business will continue normal operations throughout this process.
Austin, Texas-based All Web Leads is an online marketing firm that matches agents with customers searching the Internet for insurance products. Founded in 2005, the 400-employee company has $110 million in annual revenue and company officials say it has grown to become the largest private company in the industry. The company’s award-winning insurance leads, calls and clicks programs lead the industry in conversion, qualification and volume according to recent surveys.
Formerly known as Bankrate Insurance, Denver-based insuranceQuotes.com has the industry’s largest network of national and local insurance agents and an online process that allows consumers to compare insurance quotes. Before Bankrate Insurance combined its insurance brands into a single flagship insurance shopping company – insuranceQuotes – in March 2015, the company had acquired a range of online insurance-shopping and lead generation companies (including InsureMe, NetQuote, Trouvé Media, AgentInsider/InsWeb and Lead Karma). Prior to the acquisition by All Web Leads, the insuranceQuotes employed 220 with offices in Colorado, California, Massachusetts and Utah.
“This transaction is a win-win outcome for both parties,” said Kenneth S. Esterow, President and CEO of Bankrate, Inc. “The sale will allow Bankrate to focus its energy and resources on the Company’s two core businesses, credit cards and banking, and the great growth opportunities available in the Senior Care vertical. The joining together of insuranceQuotes with All Web Leads provides the combined entity significant scale to continue making investments in the rapidly evolving online insurance business.”
The purchase price to be paid by All Web Leads will consist of $140 million to be paid in cash at the closing, and $25 million to be paid on the second anniversary of the closing date in cash or, to the extent payment in cash in full is restricted under All Web Leads’ senior credit agreement, by delivery of a subordinated promissory note.
After the acquisition is final, All Web Leads’ clients will include the top 20 U.S. property and casualty insurance carriers, most of the largest U.S. health insurers and more than 30,000 individual insurance agents and agencies in all 50 states.
All Web Leads CEO Bill Daniel, added, “We are thrilled to have the Bankrate insurance division become a part of AWL and we look forward to bringing our industry leading, agency-centric set of premium products to the many thousands of insuranceQuotes agent and agency customers across the U.S. Together, we expect to deliver a level of performance and service surpassing anything our customers have experienced before.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch served as Bankrate’s financial advisor on the transaction. Paul Hastings served as Bankrate’s legal counsel.
About Bankrate, Inc.: Bankrate is a leading online publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content. Bankrate aggregates large scale audiences of in-market consumers by providing them with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance and related editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, senior care and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. Our flagship sites Bankrate.com, CreditCards.com, insuranceQuotes.com and Caring.com are leading destinations in each of their respective verticals and connect our audience with financial service and senior care providers and other contextually relevant advertisers. Bankrate also develops and provides content, tools, web services and co-branded websites to over 100 online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites such as Yahoo!, CNBC, AARP and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to leading news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements, which include statements expressing the intent, belief or current expectations of Bankrate and All Web Leads that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Actual results might differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties associated with the transaction and Bankrate’s and All Web Leads’ businesses, which include, but are not limited to: macroeconomic conditions and general industry conditions such as the competitive environment and the growth prospects for online insurance sales; the risk that a condition to closing of the Insurance business sale transaction may not be satisfied, including without limitation antitrust regulatory approval; other risks to consummation of the Insurance business sale transaction, including the risk that the transaction will not be consummated within the expected time period; the uncertainty with respect to if and when the deferred portion of the purchase price in the Insurance business sale transaction will be paid; the effects of disruption from the Insurance business sale transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners;; and litigation and regulatory risks. For more information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, refer to Bankrate’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under “Risk Factors” in Bankrate’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 along with any modifications or updates to those “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. These documents are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Bankrate undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.