Private-equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is acquiring the El Segundo-based parent of CarsDirect.com and ApartmentRatings.com in a deal reportedly worth $1.1 billion.
KKR is buying the company from two other private-equity firms, Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity, which paid $640 million for Internet Brands in 2010.
Bob Brisco, the chief executive of Internet Brands, and members of its management team will hold a minority stake in the company. Brisco will continue to run the company.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with KKR at this important juncture in our business, when we have dramatically expanded our client solutions portfolio and our growth in key areas is accelerating,” Brisco said in a statement.
Internet Brands operates websites in four broad areas: auto, health, legal and home/travel. The company has 1,600 employees.
The Internet Brands sites include wikitravel, frugaltravelguy, lawyer.com and racingjunk.com.
CarsDirect is an online automotive research tool based in El Segundo. The service is designed to help auto buyers gather information about car prices, financing and insurance. It also, like similar services Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, TrueCar and Cars.com (owned by Tribune Co., the parent of The Times), collects information about these prospective car buyers and provides leads to auto dealers.
KKR has made recent investments in other technology companies, including Go Daddy, Mitchell, Visma, Fotolia and Ipreo.