Homestore Acquiring iPlace

In a move that both bolsters and complements its offerings, online real
estate network Homestore.com Inc. is acquiring Langhorne, Pa.-based iPlace
Inc., which provides online credit and neighborhood information to real
estate professionals and consumers, for about $150 million.


iPlace is a unit of Stamford, CT-based
Memberworks . iPlace says it has 600,000 paid consumer
subscriptions; the site provides credit scores and reports, data on recent
home sales and details on various neighborhoods.


Westlake Village, Calif.-based Homestore.com said that
the deal includes about $70 million in cash and the rest in stock.


“Like Homestore, iPlace is one of the few companies to establish a successful
subscription business on the Internet,” said Stuart Wolff, Homestore chairman
and chief executive officer. “We believe the product lines will fit very well
strategically and the combined traffic significantly extends the reach of our
network of Web sites.”


eNeighborhoods Inc. was founded by Stuart Siegel, now iPlace’s president and
chief executive officer, in 1996, and later merged with ConsumerInfo.com,
then a wholly owned subsidiary of MemberWorks, and was subsequently renamed
iPlace.


iPlace’s products and services include iPlace.com, eNeighborhoods,
ConsumerInfo.com, QSpace.com and Relocator. iPlace claims to be the first
site to enable consumers to access their credit reports online and to offer a
merged report containing credit information in an easy-to-read format from
the three major credit bureaus.


MemberWorks is a provider of
discounted goods and services to members through affinity marketing and
various online channels. Its stock was up 71 cents to $22.75 in early
trading. Homestore was down 47 cents at $23.58.


Homestore.com Web sites include REALTOR.com, the official Web site of the
National Association of REALTORS; HomeBuilder.com, a new homes destination;
Homestore.com Apartments & Rentals; and Homestore.com, a home sales
information resource. Homestore acquired Cendant’s Move.com last February.

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