ServiceMagic Acquires Majority Stake in 123Devis.com, 123GetAQuote.co.uk and Travaux.com-
NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today ServiceMagic announced the launch of ServiceMagic Europe through its acquisition of a majority stake in The Koening Company and the acquisition of Travaux.com from Groupe CyberArchi, reaffirming IAC's (NASDAQ: IACI) commitment to strategic international expansion and continued investments in local markets around the world. ServiceMagic Europe is being launched in conjunction with ServiceMagic International, which will continue to scout local lead generation business opportunities around the world.
ServiceMagic Europe, headquartered in Luxembourg, operates businesses in the local lead generation space in French and British markets including:
-- Travaux.com, the largest French website for consumer information regarding home improvement; -- 123Devis.com, a French lead generation business with the largest network of tradespeople in France; and -- 123GetAQuote.co.uk, a leading UK lead generation platform
Financial details of the transaction, which closed October 27th, have not been disclosed. In addition to purchasing a majority interest in the businesses, ServiceMagic and IAC will invest additional capital to aggressively accelerate growth of the venture in Europe.
Already the leading online marketplace for homeowners looking to find prescreened, customer-rated contractors for more than 500 household tasks in the U.S., expansion into Europe will allow ServiceMagic to bring its proven expertise to these properties. Over the coming months, these sites will leverage ServiceMagic's local lead generation experience and utilize ServiceMagic's business processes to serve French and U.K. homeowners' needs. Working to match the right professional with the right skills to consumers across each market, ServiceMagic Europe will continue to grow its database of pre-screened, customer-rated contractors.
Jean-David Habib, the entrepreneur who started the UK businesses, will serve as CEO of ServiceMagic Europe, with ServiceMagic co-founders Rodney Rice and Michael Beaudoin overseeing ServiceMagic International. The U.S. business will continue to be run by current CEO Craig Smith.
"Through partnerships with local businesses, we can better understand the demands of European consumers and subsequently tailor our business model to launch successful local lead generation businesses in Europe," said Rice. "Mr. Habib is an extremely talented entrepreneur who was able to drive these businesses to leadership positions in their respective markets. We look forward to his leadership to help drive the growth of ServiceMagic Europe."
"European homeowners need access to information they can trust," said Habib. "Service professionals and homeowners will truly benefit from the added resources of a company of ServiceMagic's size and reputation."
Today's news is the latest move in IAC's expanding global operations. Recent IAC international initiatives include:
-- The acquisition of GirlSense in Israel to extend share of voice in IAC's teen product portfolio; -- The launch of an initiative in Korea to find and partner with Korean game developers to build innovative games for IAC's InstantAction.com - encouraging growth and fostering innovation at InstantAction.com, the website for gamers that combines the intensity of console videogames with the accessibility of the web; and -- New product launches, feature enhancements and global partnerships at Match.com Japan... catapulting Match.com into a leadership position in online dating in Japan.
By surveying opportunistic markets and key international audiences, IAC will continue to explore strategic partnerships, scout key developers and entrepreneurs and evaluate acquisition targets throughout Europe, Asia and other international destinations.
"In order to expand IAC's footprint around the globe, we need to create locally relevant consumer offerings," said Jane Thompson, Managing Director, IAC International. "We recognize that in order to do this we need to adapt and work with local businesses to accommodate the unique needs of international markets."
With over 168 million users in more than 40 countries around the world, recent and current international efforts from many of IAC's more than 35 brands including Match.com, Ask.com, InstantAction and Evite reinforce IAC's ability to monetize and distribute content across the web. By leveraging this expertise, the goal moving forward is to accelerate growth internationally by expanding existing brands and exploring new opportunities which can bring new businesses into the fold.
Already operating established and emerging brands that appeal to niche audiences around the world, continuing to grow its global user-base and expand market share is part of the natural evolution of IAC.
About ServiceMagic®, Inc.
ServiceMagic®, Inc., headquartered in Golden, Colo., is the U.S.'s leading online marketplace connecting homeowners with prescreened and customer-rated home service professionals. Using proprietary technology to match consumer service requests with local service professionals in real time, the company addresses more than 500 different home service needs that range from simple home repairs and maintenance to complete home remodeling projects. In addition, its 53,000 home service professionals are prescreened to help consumers connect with licensed and insured home service professionals. ServiceMagic is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI). For more information, visit http://www.servicemagic.com/.
IAC operates more than 35 leading and diversified Internet businesses across 40 countries... our mission is to harness the power of interactivity to make daily life easier and more productive for people all over the world. To view a full list of the companies of IAC please visit our website at http://iac.com/.
About The Koening Company
Koening International SA is a Luxembourg based marketing business, which fully owns 123Devis.com and 123GetAQuote.co.uk. Established in October 2005 by French entrepreneur Jean-David Habib, 123Devis.com is a lead generation business with the largest network of tradespeople in France. In September 2007, the UK business, 123GetAQuote.co.uk was established and has quickly secured its position as a leading service for homeowners looking to find qualified tradespeople in the UK.
Travaux.com was launched in January 2002 and means 'works' but more literally translates as "home improvement works'. It is the largest content for homeowners searching for information about home improvements in France.
Contacts ServiceMagic Public Relations: Matt Dillman (303) 963-8028 IAC Corporate Communications: Stacy Simpson / Leslie Cafferty (212) 314-7470 / 7326 Koening Company/IAC International: Nehal Barr +44 (0) 20 7980 4425
CONTACT: Matt Dillman, ServiceMagic Public Relations, +1-303-963-8028;
or Stacy Simpson, +1-212-314-7470, or Leslie Cafferty, +1-212-314-7326, both
of IAC Corporate Communications; or Nehal Barr of Koening Company-IAC
International, +44 (0) 20 7980 4425
Web Site: http://www.iac.com/