We didn’t see this one coming but it makes sense … Answers Corp., the publicly traded parent of Answers.com, has an agreement to acquire Lexico Publishing Corp — Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, Reference.com — for $100 million. Release.
Interestingly, Answers.com is also revising its Q2 guidance downwards: In May, the company stated that it expected revenues of between $2.8-$3.2 million for Q2, but now says due to “more pronounced seasonality” in traffic, along with a “continued slower than anticipated ramp of its direct ad sales effort”, the company anticipates revenues of between $2.75 million-$2.8 million for Q2. Kinda ironic they announced it at the same time as the big acquisition.
Why Lexico? Answers.com’s announcement says it propels the company to a “leadership position in online information publishing. Along with the nifty urls, Answers.com would more than double its reach. Lexico had more than 11.5 million monthly uniques in June, according to comScore Media Metrix; Answers.com estimates it would have 22.5 million monthly uniques, making it #28 in the U.S. properties.
– Answers.com says Lexico generated revenues of $7 million in 2006 with net income of $2.8 million.
– Lexico’s sites bring in more than three times the page views of Answers.com. (Not sure how it would rate on time spent.) But they only make one-third as much per page as Answers.com, which leaves room for growth.
Bits blog: Answers.com had $4.2 million in cash as of March 31, and about $9 million in Cash & Cash Equivalents & Investment Securities. The company says the deal is contingent on its raising the money, probably through a stock offering. Since Answers is only valued by the market at $101 million, the deal will substantially dilute the holdings of the existing shareholders.