E.W. Scripps Buys Shopzilla for $525M

E.W. Scripps Company has purchased Santa Monica-based Shopzilla, a comparison shopping site, for $525M in cash. E.W. Scripps said that it purchased Shopzilla to capitalize on the rapid growth and rising profitability of specialized Internet search businesses. Shopzilla, formerly Bizrate, provides a comparison shopping service on the Internet that allows consumers to search for products, compare prices, and read reviews of products. The deal calls for Shopzilla shareholders to alow receive Shopzilla's net working capital of roughly $35M as part of the deal. Shopzilla is expected to earn $30 to $33M in profit on revenues of $130 to $140M for 2005. Shopzilla was founded by Farhad Mohit and Henri Asseily, who will continue on at the company. The company is backed by Access Technology, Allegis Capital, Mission Ventures, and others. According to comScore Media Metrix Shopzilla had 14M unique U.S. visitors in April of 2005. E.W. Scripps owns Home & Garden Television, The Food Network, United Media, the Scripps Howard News Service, 21 daily papers and 10 broadcast TV stations.