MoneySupermarket.com, the price comparison site, has announced plans to acquire popular personal finance website MoneySavingExpert for up to £87 million.
MoneySavingExpert is owned by Martin Lewis, a personal finance journalist who set up the site in 2003. The website offers free information services and forums on a wide range of personal finance areas, as well as online tools that help users find the place to get the best deal on their travel money, for example.
The two sites have an existing relationship whereby MoneySupermarket.com supplies direct links to its price comparison services and links to product providers mentioned in editorial pieces on MoneySavingExpert.
Payments made by MoneySupermarket.com to MoneySavingExpert under this deal represent around 59 percent of Lewis' site revenues for the year ending 31 October 2011. MoneySavingExpert reported revenues of £15.8 million in the period.
As part of the acquisition, MoneySupermarket.com aims to optimise MoneySavingExpert's website and user experience. It also intends to allow Lewis, as editor-in-chief of MoneySavingExpert, to preserve the site's editorial independence.
Peter Plumb, CEO of MoneySupermarket.com, said: "We'll help MoneySavingExpert.com reach a wider audience and [it] will broaden the range of advice and tools we offer.
"We are committed to maintaining its trusted, independent reputation."
Meanwhile, Lewis has said that following the acquisition, he will donate £10 million to charity, which includes £1 million to Citizens Advice.
The acquisition is scheduled to complete by September to October 2012.