RentPath wants to walk you right to your new residence. The firm (formerly PRIMEDIA) publishes free residential real estate guides
New Home Guide
, and their digital counterparts, ApartmentGuide.com and NewHomeGuide.com. RentPath also operates Rentals.com, a paid listings site for residential rental properties, and related sites. All total its network of websites reaches about 3.8 million monthly unique visitors. RentPath'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
In addition to ApartmentGuide.com, NewHomeGuide.com, and Rentals.com, RentPath also operates Rent.com and RentalHouses.com.
In order to deal with the challenging real estate environment, RentPath 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
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.
More recently RentPath has focused on upgrading and expanding its online empire, adding enhanced graphics, better user interfaces, and mobile capabilities to its sites.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 RentPath paid $13 million for San Francisco-based Lovely, a startup with a mobile app for researching and applying for an apartment and paying rent on mobile devices and via the Web.
After selling off all its nonreal-estate titles and assets, the company changed its name to RentPath in 2013.
RentPath'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 RentPath'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 RentPath (then PRIMEDIA) in 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
; selling its
online guide website to
The New York Times Company
; and selling its
(television news for schools) to
. The company also sold its Enthusiast Media -- which published magazines in niche topics from automobiles to sports to photography -- to
for $1.2 billion in cash.