A. Lee Graham
Zillow Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trulia Inc., a $3.5 billion stock transaction that would see the real-estate information giants combine their resources.
Boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2015.
“Trulia and Zillow have a shared mission and vision of empowering consumers while helping real estate agents, brokerages and franchisors benefit from technological innovation,” said Trulia CEO Pete Flint in a news release.
“By working together, we will be able to create even more value for home buyers, sellers, and renters, as well as create a robust marketing platform that will help our industry partners connect with potential clients and grow their businesses even more efficiently,” Flint said.
The combined company will retain Zillow and Trulia brands, offering buyers, sellers, homeowners and renters free access to home and other real estate information, as well as providing advertising and software solutions designed to help real estate professionals grow their business.
At closing, Flint will remain as Trulia CEO, reporting to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Flint also will join the board of directors of the combined company.
“Our two companies share complementary employee cultures with innovative, consumer-first philosophies and a deep commitment to create the best products and services for our industry partners,” Rascoff said in the news release.
Both Zillow and Trulia are primarily media companies, reaping most of their revenue through advertising sales to real estate professionals.
The companies say that by maintaining two distinct consumer brands, the combined company will offer different products and user experiences, while attracting more users and maximizing the distribution of free content across multiple platforms, apps and channels.
As part of the agreement, Trulia shareholders will receive 0.444 shares of Zillow Class A common stock for every Trulia share, and will own about 33 percent of the combined company at closing.
The agreement is subject to meeting customary closing conditions, including the expiration of U.S. antitrust waiting periods and shareholder approval of both companies. Serving as the exclusive financial adviser in the transaction was Goldman, Sachs & Co., with Shearman & Sterling LLP and Perkins Coie LLP acting as legal counsel to Zillow. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as a financial adviser. Serving as legal counsel to Trulia were Goodwin Procter LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Qatalyst Partners LP also acted as a financial adviser to Trulia.