Partnerships / Acquisitions

LendingTree Buys Owner Of CompareCards

Online lender LendingTree announced Thursday (Nov. 17) it inked a deal to acquire Iron Horse Holdings, which operates under the name of CompareCards. CompareCards is a website that provides credit card comparison, credit education and credit health management.

In a press release announcing the deal, LendingTree said the deal has a possible total consideration of $130 million, which consists of $85 million in cash at closing (to be adjusted for working capital and transaction expenses) and contingent consideration payments of up to $22.5 million in each of 2017 and 2018, subject to achieving specified growth targets.

“CompareCards has an established reputation as a leader in the online credit card comparison industry with solid issuer relationships and unmatched expertise in credit card search engine marketing,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree, in the press release. “We continue to execute on our strategy, leveraging LendingTree’s brand and industry-leading position to further diversify and expand in other financial service categories. We strongly believe that CompareCards’ technology platform, established issuer relationships and expert industry knowledge will accelerate our growth and further expand our presence in the online credit card comparison shopping industry.”

According to LendingTree, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, CompareCards had revenue of $54.1 million and EBITDA of $11.3 million.

“We are particularly excited about the accelerating profitability of CompareCards in 2016, driven by sustainable technology and breakthrough marketing performance,” said Gabe Dalporto, CFO of LendingTree, in the same press release. “We’ve been extremely disciplined in our M&A methodology, focusing on identifying strategic and affordable acquisitions opportunities.”

The financial chief noted the deal continues LendingTree’s diversification strategy and will result in pro forma non-mortgage revenue of 51 percent of total for the nine months ended Sept. 30. “We believe that CompareCards’ consistent, high-quality traffic, talented team and highly regarded reputation will be complementary to our business, and we’re confident that this transaction will be significantly and immediately accretive to LendingTree,” he went on to say.

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