Business

Charlotte-based LendingTree continues shopping spree with another deal

In this file photo, then-N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla gives a wooden bowl to LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda after tthe company announced 314 new jobs.
In this file photo, then-N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla gives a wooden bowl to LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda after tthe company announced 314 new jobs. Charlotte Observer

LendingTree Inc., the Charlotte-based operator of LendingTree.com, announced its second acquisition in less than a week Tuesday, as it acquired the company that operates MagnifyMoney.com, a website that offers editorial content, tools and resources for comparing financial products, for as much as $39.5 million.

LendingTree, founded in Charlotte in 1998, is an online loan broker that connects consumers with lenders, banks, and credit partners. Last Thursday, it acquired certain assets from the owner of DepositAccounts.com, a Birmingham, Ala.-based company that tracks more than 270,000 consumer deposit rates, for as much as $33 million.

“The acquisition of MagnifyMoney is a continuation of LendingTree’s disciplined acquisition strategy and accelerates our product and marketing channel diversification efforts,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. “The MagnifyMoney team has built a successful content platform by generating organic search traffic through unbiased editorial content, a technique that complements LendingTree’s core business and value proposition while engaging more consumers.”

Lebda also said the the company’s “successful” purchase of CompareCards, a credit-card comparison site, in November of 2016 gave it more reassurance in expanding its portfolio with MagnifyMoney, which launched in 2014.

“We are incredibly excited to join LendingTree,” said Nick Clements, co-founder of MagnifyMoney and former managing director at Barclaycard UK. “Given LendingTree’s emphasis on consumer empowerment and transparency, we feel confident that this is the right platform for MagnifyMoney and its editorial team to engage more consumers on a broader set of financial products.”

LendingTree said it would pay $29.5 million at closing and as much as $10 million in additional contingent payments.

In November, the company said it planned to add 314 workers in Charlotte over the next five years as a result of a $4.9 million incentives package from the state, more than doubling its local workforce.

In April, LendingTree reported a first-quarter profit of $7.8 million, up 13 percent from a year earlier. The company also saw a 40 percent spike in total revenue to $132.5 million.

Matt Kaminer: 704-358-5258, @MattKaminer

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