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New York Times to Acquire About.com

by Milena Sotirova
February 22, 2005

The quaint New York Times (www.nytimes.com) released recently the news that the company is planning to acquire About, Inc. About.com (www.about.com) is one of the biggest online information providers and is a part of RIMEDIA Inc. network.

"We are very excited about this acquisition, which furthers our strategy of delivering news and information to local and national audiences with multiple media products," said Janet Robinson, president and CEO, The New York Times Company.

According to the information, all-cash transaction valued at approximately $410 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the end of March.

About.com was founded in 1997. Over the past eight years, the company developed through the contribution of more than 475 Guides for the rich range of information categories.

According to Nielsen NetRatings, About.com is a top 15 Web property used by one out of every five people on the Internet. The success of About.com centers around their unique Guide System featuring 23 content channels and promoting original content.

The network of nearly 500 experts, known as guides, create Web sites on thousands of topics - from personal finance to consumer electronics to history and geography.

The New York Times Company's highly successful Web sites - which include NYTimes.com, Boston.com and more than 40 other Web sites - are visited by more than 13 million users each month, and include the leading Internet sites owned by a news organization.

The acquisition is expected to provide The New York Times Company with a fast growing network addition to already powerful web properties in the company network and new advertising market. Respectively, it is expected that the reach among the internet users will grow.
The New York Times Company also announced it is ranked No. 1 for the fifth consecutive year among publishing companies in Fortune magazine's annual list of America's Most Admired Companies.
"It gives me and everyone at The New York Times Company enormous pride to be named No. 1 in the publishing industry," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company.
Additionally, the company reported that in January NYTimes.com achieved a traffic record of 553 million pageviews. This is a 30% increase from January of last year, according to internal data.

NY Times expects strong revenue and profit growth for About.com. According to Primedia, the purchase price of $410 million reflects a multiple of over 10 times About, Inc. 2004 revenues and a multiple of over 30 times About, Inc.

After the acquisition, About.com has planned to operate as a distinct business division.


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