July 24, 2017 – Some consolidation is afoot in the world on health-focused online media properties. Today, WebMD, one of the biggest sites in the world for health-related information — announced that it would be acquired by Internet Brands — the company that is controlled by KKR and owns a large portfolio of B2B and B2C websites in verticals like automotive, health, home, travel and legal — for a $66.50 per share in cash, or $2.8 billion. The news confirms a report from this weekend noting that the deal was on the cards.
The deal brings to a close a sale process that has been going on for some time and reportedly saw some 100 different bids for the health portal.
It will also marry a company that has up to now focused on being an information repository, with businesses that provide directory and other services rooted in more transactions.
WebMD was one of the earlier vertical search portals and information repositories for health information on the Internet, founded in 1996 and going public in 2005. Internet Brands aggregates traffic across a range of sites, which it in turn monetises by way of an advertising network; but it also provides a large number of services to help health businesses find more customers, and for consumers to find healthcare.
WebMD will be a significant contributor to that business model: the company ranked 36th in comScore’s top 50 websites in the US in June, with 71.7 million unique visitors in the month, and was in fact the only site in the medical/health vertical that made the list.
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