Deal: CoStar acquires LoopNet

Late on this one. Maybe I was a bit 'shocked'...  ;-)   Anyway, CoStar made in April their biggest acquisition so far.     

The U.S. based property information gigant CoStar acquires LoopNet (pressrelease) for "... representing a total equity value of approximately $860 million and an enterprise value of $762 million".

"CoStar revolutionized how the industry researches commercial real estate and LoopNet revolutionized the way the industry markets commercial real estate," said Andrew C. Florance, President and Chief Executive Officer of CoStar. "We expect the combination of our companies to give the $11 trillion commercial real estate market the full benefit of the internet."
"CoStar and LoopNet have been at the cutting edge of innovation in their respective businesses and we believe the two companies will be even stronger together," said Richard Boyle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LoopNet. "This transaction combines the capabilities and best practices of two successful and very complementary companies. We are excited about the possibilities that can be created together."  


CoStar was founded in 1987 has with its staff of 1500 people manually created the "most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information", including for example 11 million images. The main focus has been property & tenant data, but also has products in listings and marketing. It's 80 000 users generates an annual sales of $220 million (source).  

LoopNet started it's services in 1995 in San Francisco with the focus to create a listing service for commercial properties. The annual sales, from its 80 000 users (4 million customers including free accounts), is $80 million (source).   

The companies have quite a history together, including a string of lawsuits. The gap between the companies has narrowed even more over last when LoopNet started to offer a PropertyFacts database.

The difference described by Costar.

The table is found here.

The combined company will have 160 000 paid customers and 2 million active listings. 

The table is found here.

Buzz in the market    

... within the real estate market  
Articles about the deal will found at  PropertyPortalWatch (followup), NreiInmanNewsGlobeSt and RetailTraffic.  The Colombus Business First sees an opportunity for Xceligent. 

Reflections from the the blogosphere; Real estate professional Duke Long give his reflections in short video, insight from a broker and a lawer, a discussion on LinkedIn, and reflections from Joe Stampone.  

... within general business  
Coverage from Reuters, The Washington Post and Washington Business Journal.

A three minutes interview on FoxNews

My thoughts

I met Dennis Deandre (one of the founders) and the rest of the Loopnet team back in 2004 and was impressed by both the team and the product. They have always used the web to it's full potential. Hopefully they still will do. 

Regarding the acqusition I've the same feeling as when Mint (total different market) was acquired by Intiut; always a bit 'sad' when the underdog become part of the dominator. However, I fully understand the business upside for the shareholders in both companies. I believe it's a great deal from that perspective.