New York Times Co. Gets a Better Deal for

IAC Will Pay $300 Million in Cash

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Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp has agreed to buy from New York Times Co. for $300 million in cash, letting the company expand its informational-website business and handing The Times Co. a better price than it seemed like it would get.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the next several weeks, The Times Co. said yesterday in a statement. IAC outbid an earlier $270 million offer from Answers Corp., according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because the talks were private. The Times Co. will use the proceeds from the deal for general corporate purposes.

The homepage Monday morning.
The homepage Monday morning.

"This sale will allow the Times Co. to focus on the development and growth of our core brands locally, nationally and on a global scale," Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said in the statement., which relies on freelancers to produce stories and how-to videos on topics such as making a stir-fry or preventing a tattoo from stretching, has struggled to attract traffic and advertising dollars.

Websites such as, which depend on posting lots of inexpensive content, are also fairly prone to changes in search engines' algorithms. suffered, as a result, when Google altered its methodology in an attempt to favor high-quality content.

IAC, however, saw revenue from and its other search-related sites climb 46% to $348.8 million last quarter.

Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC, said in a separate statement that joining with would help make more profitable. "The complementary nature of these two businesses will provide significant synergies going forward, and thus we expect that will generate more profit as a part of and IAC than it has been able to over the last few years," he said.

The Times Co. has been unloading businesses and tightening the focus on its main media brand. It sold its stake in Fenway Sports Group, owner of the Boston Red Sox, for $93 million this year and completed the sale of its regional newspaper division for $143 million. The publisher still owns the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspapers.

The Times Co. bought for $410 million in 2005. The website's revenue fell 8.7% to $25.4 million last quarter, and it posted an operating loss of $186.8 million as the publisher wrote down the value of the business unit to $172.5 million.

IAC -- founded by Mr. Diller, a 70-year-old billionaire -- runs dating sites and OKCupid and has a controlling stake in Newsweek/Daily Beast Co. The business, in addition to its flagship site, includes and

The Times Co. on Aug. 8 said it was in negotiations to sell, without giving details. A person with knowledge of the deal said then that the company was trying to sell the property to St. Louis-based Answers., for its part, recently acquired nRelate, a startup that provides article-recommendation technology to thousands of small publishers. Besides incorporating the technology into to help surface related content for web visitors, the deal could bolster the amount of content that can make available to its readers, CEO Doug Leeds said in a recent interview. Mr. Leeds said he envisions working with the small online publishers who use nRelate content-recommendation widgets to make their content searchable on

-- Bloomberg News --
Contributing: Jason Del Rey

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