March 11, 2014

CoStar acquires

Commercial real estate research firm CoStar Group recently announced that it had purchased from Classified Ventures for $585 million. With this deal, CoStar aims to become an online leader in the commercial real estate sphere. serves renters and property owners and operates the affiliate websites and In 2013, the sites generated 114 million visits and $86 million in revenue. 

Classified Ventures, a joint venture of five media conglomerates, launched in 1998 as a digital alternative to newspaper ads. In recent years, the website has helped some of the backing organization stay afloat as print revenues have been steadily declining. 

"In much the same way LoopNet revolutionized how owners and brokers market the commercial real estate sectors of office, industrial and retail, Apartments has transformed the way owners and property managers market their commercial real estate's apartment buildings, moving them from the classified ads section of Classified Ventures owners' newspapers to more effective online advertising," CoStar CEO Andrew Florance said in a press release. 

Washington, D.C.-based CoStar provides commercial real estate analytics and marketing services and boasts 8 million unique monthly visitors online. According to the company's financial filings, it generated $441 million in revenue in 2013. In the press release, Florance also noted that CoStar's large database of apartment owners and managers should complement what can already be found on

The deal may not be the only merger and acquisition news for Classified Ventures. The group recently put another one of its websites,, up for sale at a price of $3 billion. Like, was launched in the late 1990s to supplement advertising revenue for newspapers. As is it is Classified Ventures' last remaining asset, a sale of the car website would effectively put an end to the partnership.