Business.com For Sale : $300 – $400 Million

SMS Text

Business.com, the B2B search engine & directory, is up for sale and according to the Wall Street Journal, the web destination hopes to attract valuation between $300 and $400 million via an auction managed by Credit Suisse.

Dow Jones and the New York Times (which owns About.com) may be interested buyers in the major business directory which initially purchased its domain name for $7.5 million in 1999.

Business.com uses a multi-tiered revenue generation method (which is probably the highest profile arbitrage site on the planet) with an even mix of paid business directory listings (sold in-house), paid search advertising (provided by Google), and contextual ads (externally driven).

Essentially, the search engine, could be the dream acquisition of many publishers, since its focus is on the business world, and businesses understand the importance of paying for search traffic and authority links now more than ever before.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • http://www.avivadirectory.com/ Aviva

    Seems a high price. EBITA of $15 Million on 2007 – even if the new owner can keep up the pace, that’s still at least 20 years earnings. On the other hand, I’m sure the domain name is worth at least $20 Million now. As well, the top companies in any market will keep doing better and better, and Business.com is certainly a leader in their niche.

  • http://www.kensavage.com Ken Savage

    Great! now that we’re spending 10 large with them per month, it would be nice to know who actually does the buying. At least they have a real revenue model that probably won’t change.

  • http://www.snoopdirectory.com Snoop

    I guess I wont be placing a bid any time soon :)
    I wish them well…

  • http://www.bloggeries.com Bloggeries

    The internet is still in its infancy. I believe they will get that no problem. That is NOT a tone of money for some conglomerates and imagine the price tag if it were to go forsale in say 2020?

    Great article, unfortunately I won’t be bidding anytime soon!

  • https://www.searchenginejournal.com Loren Baker, Editor

    Bloggeries, good point on the long term pricing. As medium sized publishers, we tend to look at market valuation at 3-4 years income, plus domain value.

    But, if this is a serious venture, looking at the value over the next 10 years for such an authority site & domain is much much more realistic.

    The article did not however state if Business.com would also be selling their site Work.com along with the total package.

    Work.com is kind of an About.com for the business market, with Digg like voting and other 2.0 features.

    If it is not part of the package, after the sale of perhaps $300 million, $10 million could be invested in establishing Work.com, which could then become as popular as Business.com now is… a win-win situation for the current Business.com ownership :)

  • http://www.bigdirectorybid.com/ Amit

    Wow, a bid of $300 million is really huge, But considering the fact that Business.com branding & being the premier B2B portal, I personally don’t think that it will be a tough one… All the best to Business.com

  • http://www.bloggeries.com Bloggeries

    Loren,

    I have to agree with you regarding the work.com scenario you suggested. Great blog if you’d like to add yourself to our directory as a featured absolutely free please do and I”ll approve it. I’ve just bookmarked here and will be back often.

    Only time will tell now but I bet they get there asking price, maybe even higher.

    Regards,
    Rob

  • http://www.harmu.com uttoransen

    best of luck for the deal, to business.com, a huge deal and well deserved!

  • https://www.searchenginejournal.com Loren Baker, Editor

    Thanks Rob. Glad to add another RSS subscriber :)

    I also noticed that this post was Dugg. It’s not the first post written on the story, but has the best conversation so far, so please feel free to help promote the story (and your comments) by Digging via the button at the top of the post.

    We use a WP Plugin for this button which only appears when a user Diggs the story, then a referral is sent to the post from the Digg.com domain.

    I’m trying to get in contact with Business.com now for a follow up on Work.com and their plans.

    Another scenario is that since the New York Times is such a massive Google AdWords partner (with About.com too), they could probably negotiate a higher revenue sharing rate with Google AdWords, and add more value to the Business.com revenue model instantly.

  • http://www.allydirectory.com Sharat

    Certainly, Business.com is the best of all business directories out there on web.
    It deserves a pretty handome amount of money, but frankly, $300-400 million is a little high in my opinion.
    But in anycase, it’s certainly the best directory and the leader when it comes to business directories.
    Good luck!

  • http://www.allinfodir.com Worldwide

    Astonishing news, $300 to $400 seems bit high in my opinion, but cannot ignore the strength and quality of the site. Good Luck!

  • http://www.dirjournal.com Hasan

    That is simply too much for a site that doesn’t have a lot of quality content. I like work.com a lot but don’t know if that is also included in the price.

  • http://www.kensavage.com/ Ken Savage

    Work.com must be included. There’s way too much quality content there not to put it on the table.

  • http://www.kensavage.com/ Ken Savage

    It would be nice if someone from the company could comment here and let us know….

  • http://www.snoopdirectory.com Snoop

    Bloggeries, that kind of $$$ might not be much to some, but you can do a hell of a lot of advertising for a new website with that kind of cash. So why would anyone want to buy it? Oh ya, I forgot… youtube…

  • http://www.infospacedirectory.com Bruce

    $300-400 million is too much a high price to pay for a directory. All the best

  • http://www.emporium-directory.com Emporium

    Now I wish I had sold my house and used that money to buy Business.com! :)

  • http://www.allseocontest.com/dir/ Mark

    Premium name, wonder who will buy that site, maybe microsoft? The price is nothing compared to bill’s revenue. And great profit of course if it was sold at that price.

  • http://www.svt.pl SVT

    Could be nice write off for some of the large players.

  • http://www.palatnikfactor.com Pablo Palatnik

    1) 300-400 million…100 million is a big difference. I think its worth the money. You have to look at not only thier ad revenue now and content they provide (which isnt too much AT THIS POINT) but the possibilities the site could have itself. Amazing domain…social network for business professionals in the future?

    2) about a 71.5% growth since last year.

  • http://www.complexsearch.com Nathan

    Business.com is one of the most relevent and profitable directories on the internet. I think that anybody willing put up $300MM for business has a strategic plan to increase revenues and business more of a destination for all businesses.

  • http://www.hostingcoupons.org hostingcoupons

    the price may seem to be a bit high but the time they have decided to sell is right and they should be able to get a buyer in this new web2.0 world

  • http://www.mysuccessgateway.com/guru/guru.php?id=38 jim peake

    It is not surprising that Business.com will fetch these numbers. Notice that there is no more ocean fron property being created these days so the value of online real estate busy intersections will be the next big real estate boom, a la Microsoft acquires Yahoo and 477 million monthly uniques. We are living in the age of refinement and innovation and the group that wants to refine the business world will pick up Business.com

  • http://www.bloggeries.com Bloggeries

    Re Snoop:

    You are correct but regardless of promotional budget you’ll never be able to get to the market penetration level of business.com. It’s a priceless domain for those with the budget. Also think of type-in amongst other things. Just an idea here, imagine you were in the oil business and have been for quite sometime. Whats 300 million for one of the web’s best business related properties with endless potential? If you want to hear a gross number imagine how much it will go for if sold in 5-10 years from now…

  • http://www.h-log.com HLog

    Nice domain but like aviva put it, 300$ sounds kinda far fetched , but lets see how the sale goes. But there are lots of rich folks out there for sure. Someone will grab it. If not wonder if sale price will be dropped.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    MyBlogLog sold for 10 million and they think they are going to get 400 million? LOL

    Sure they are different animals all together, but one is growing and relevant and the other is not.

    Of course someone just bought a banned seo.com for 5 million so what do I know.

  • http://www.letras32.com/letras/david-gray/index.php Sam Adam

    $300 – $400 Million??
    That’s huge.
    http://www.letras32.com/letras/david-gray/index.php

  • http://www.digimetroonline.com/blog Terry

    It will be a huge profit if the sale will go through. All the best to Business.com.

  • http://www.vietnamdhtravel.com Qdung

    domain for sales : tourstohalong.com
    tourstosapa.com

  • m0ney

    not bad at all

    truyenhinhtructuyen.biz