Subprime or not, PRIMEDIA is there to help renters find a residence. The firm publishes free residential real estate guides Apartment Guide and New Home Guide, and their digital counterparts, ApartmentGuide.com and NewHomeGuide.com. PRIMEDIA also operates Rentals.com, a paid listings site for residential rental properties. All total its network of websites reaches about 3.8 million monthly unique visitors. PRIMEDIA's DistribuTech business distributes printed directories to display racks in 23,000 grocery stores, drug stores, and other retail outlets in nearly 40 states throughout the US. Affiliates of private equity firm TPG Capital own PRIMEDIA.
In order to deal with the challenging real estate environment, PRIMEDIA has adopted a strategy of growing its audience by strengthening its online and mobile offerings. As part of these efforts, in 2012 the company acquired Rent.com from Internet auction giant eBay for an undisclosed amount. It made the deal to complement its extensive apartment and rental home resources, and was attracted to Rent.com's strong reputation, brand awareness, history, and URL.
Previously PRIMEDIA focused on online offerings by working to improve the site engineering and performance of Rentals.com, while increasing traffic through search engine optimization tactics. Offline, PRIMEDIA has been maximizing the leads it provides to advertisers, growing its client count, and streamlining its cost structure. In particular, it eliminated less effective locations for its print titles, significantly reducing the number of retail outlets it served.
PRIMEDIA's titles formerly covered a variety of industries, but the company spent several years aggressively selling off assets not associated with its core real estate market. The unfortunate timing of its focus on real estate came just before the housing market collapsed, and PRIMEDIA's revenues declined for four consecutive years after the recession. In response, the company began reviewing strategic alternatives, and in 2011 TPG Capital affiliates acquired PRIMEDIA a deal valued at about $525 million. (Before the purchase, the company had been trading on the New York Stock Exchange.)
Its shift to private ownership followed a period of drastic change at PRIMEDIA. Among the plethora of major divestitures the company made in the last several years was the selling or shuttering mainstream titles including Modern Bride, Seventeen, Teen, and New York; selling its About online guide website to The New York Times Company; and selling its Channel One (television news for schools) to Alloy. The company also sold its Enthusiast Media -- which published magazines in niche topics from automobiles to sports to photography -- to Source Interlink for $1.2 billion in cash.
▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description