Martin Lewis sells MoneySavingExpert site for £87m
Published Jun 1 2012, 11:08 BST | By Andrew Laughlin
Martin Lewis, the TV personality and consumer finance expert, has agreed a deal to sell his Money Saving Expert website to aggregator MoneySupermarket.com in an £87m deal.
Lewis, who has appeared on various daytime financial programmes for the BBC and ITV, owns all the shares in MoneySavingExpert.com and is expected to receive around £35m in cash plus 22.1m in shares in MoneySupermarket.com.
Lewis intends to donate £10m to charity from the deal, including £1m going to Citizens Advice and the remaining £9 million donated to a Charities Aid Foundation
MoneySavingExpert.com had approximately 39 million unique visitors and approximately 277 million page impressions in the year ending October 31, 2011.
Over the 12-month period, the website reported revenues of £15.8m, up from £11.4m in the previous year. Its pre-tax earnings were £12.6m.
Final completion of the deal is subject to clearance from the Office of Fair Trading, which is expected to take a few months. It also requires shareholder approval.
Lewis will continue as editor-in-chief of the website, in "sole charge" of the content.
"This is great news for MoneySavingExpert.com and its users, ensuring, with or without me, the site will be around for many years to come, maintaining our ethos of 'cutting your costs and fighting your corner'," said Lewis, hinting that his future lies away from the site.
"MoneySavingExpert.com has become part of people's daily lives, far bigger than the man who founded it, and now is the right time for it to stand on its own two feet.
"I chose MoneySupermarket to work with as I know and trust them. They understand the site, as they've shown by agreeing the Editorial Code, which ensures our content can proudly remain editorially independent and free from commercial considerations."
MoneySupermaket chief executive Peter Plumb added: "We've worked closely together for years with the common goal of helping customers save money.
"By joining forces we can get more people to save more money. We'll help MoneySavingExpert reach a wider audience and it will broaden the range of advice and tools we offer, encouraging even more people to take action, tap into the benefits of the internet to find a better deal and make the most of their money."