Shares of private equity-backed Bankrate Inc. rose in their stock market debut on Friday, closing at $15.34, or 2.3% above their $15 IPO price. Apax Partners took the company private for $571 million in 2009. Following the IPO, the private equity firm remains the majority shareholder with approximately 70% ownership of Bankrate’s common stock. Bankrate publishes personal finance content online. The company is based in North Palm Beach, Florida.
Apax Partners (“Apax”) has announced the successful initial public offering of Bankrate, Inc. (NYSE: RATE) (“the Company”), an online personal finance portal, marking the start of the next phase of the growth strategy for the business. Following the completion of the IPO, Apax Funds remain the majority shareholder with approximately 70% ownership of Bankrate’s common stock.
The Company has emerged from the downturn with a leadership position across each of its core verticals, strengthened by numerous acquisitions, including CreditCards.com and Netquote.com in the second half of 2010. Apax Partners worked closely with management to identify, structure, negotiate and eventually integrate these two businesses that significantly expanded Bankrate’s depth and breadth of offerings to consumers and advertisers alike.
Mitch Truwit, a partner at Apax, comments: “These acquisitions strengthened Bankrate’s leadership position in online personal finance. They allowed Bankrate to achieve even greater scale and to further diversify its revenue streams, making it a great candidate for a return to the public markets — particularly given the continuing appetite amongst investors for high-quality, high-growth Internet companies.”
Apax Partners has been a meaningful investor in online sales and distribution platforms via its investments in Trader Media in the UK, SouFun in China and Trader Corporation in Canada. Amidst a cyclical downturn in financial services advertising, Apax Funds acquired Bankrate in August 2009 for $571 million in an all-equity investment. Following significant cutbacks in marketing budgets during the downturn, financial institutions have now refocused on brand promotion and customer acquisition, and Bankrate is well-positioned to strongly benefit from this recovery.
Funds advised by Apax Partners indirectly sold 6,782,962 shares of the common stock of Bankrate, Inc. in the Company’s IPO of 20 million shares of common stock, which was priced at the mid-point of the range at $15.00 per share on June 16, 2011. Underwriters were also granted an option to acquire another 2,456,612 shares from these funds. Bankrate’s shares began trading on June 17, 2011, on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “RATE”. At the offer price of $15.00, Bankrate has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. We provide consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes.
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world’s leading private equity investment groups. It operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Funds under the advice and management of Apax Partners globally total around $40 billion. These Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Apax Partners Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Tech & Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services. For more information visit: www.apax.com.