Bankrate, Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire FastFind
Move to Establish Financial Lead-Aggregation Business in 2006
NEW YORK, New York, November 21, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/- Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE - News), today announced the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire a 100% interest in Wescoco LLC d/b/a FastFind. FastFind, an Internet lead aggregator based in San Francisco, California, is in the business of generating and selling consumer leads to lenders for mortgages, home-equity loans, auto financing and online education. The purchase price is $10 million in cash and the transaction is expected to close on or about November 30, 2005. Bankrate expects the acquisition to be accretive in 2006.
"This acquisition rapidly propels Bankrate into the lead aggregation sector and will add a new revenue stream to our business," said Thomas R. Evans, President and CEO of Bankrate, Inc. "We intend to leverage our consumer Internet traffic to enhance the FastFind lead generating platform," Mr. Evans added.
"The online mortgage industry represents an enormous, emerging and addressable market," commented Mr. Evans. According to a recent Borrell Associates research report, the mortgage industry will spend $2.5 billion in online advertising in 2005. The Borrell analysts expect that figure to more than double to $5.2 billion by 2009. "We believe we are strategically positioned to take advantage of the shift of spending from traditional outlets to the Internet," Mr. Evans added.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE - News) owns and operates Bankrate.com, a leading Internet consumer banking marketplace. Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. It is the leading aggregator of more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. In 2004, Bankrate.com had over 38 million unique visitors. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO - News), America Online (NYSE: TWX - News), The Wall Street Journal (NYSE: DJ - News) and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT - News). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 150 national and state publications.
FastFind is a fast, free and easy online service that matches consumers looking for a financial or education product with businesses that want to sell their goods or services. After completing a short questionnaire on the FastFind Web site, consumers are connected to marketers who pay FastFind to provide them with quality leads to fuel their business. FastFind was founded in 2004 by Sean McCarthy, FastFind's CEO, who was previously President of the lead aggregation company GetSmart.com, Eric King, FastFind's President and CFO, who was previously an executive in the corporate development department of Providian Financial Corp. and Camelot Ventures, a Michigan-based private investment group.
About Camelot Ventures
Camelot Ventures is a Michigan-based private investment group comprised of entrepreneurs and executives who enjoy unparalleled success in their respective businesses, adding unique value to the companies they invest or acquire. Many of its principals are accomplished Presidents and CEOs, including David Katzman, former President of Home Depot S.O.C., and Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans. Camelot's goal is to assist in building upon the vision and to help strengthen the position within the marketplace of the companies in which it invests or acquires. Camelot Ventures focuses on industries in customer relationship management (CRM), call center, catalog, traditional or direct marketing applications, retail, electronic or financial services sectors.
The trademarked names used in this release are the property of their respective owners.