Update 21 Sept 2012: At 8am today this transaction was completed, MoneySavingExpert.com joined the MoneySupermarket Group.
1 June 2012
In a deal announced this morning on the stock market, MoneySavingExpert.com will join the MoneySupermarket.com group. MSE will continue to operate as it does now, but with improved technology, so more people can gain from its MoneySaving techniques.
See MSE founder Martin Lewis' editorial comment for what this means for the site and its users, and MoneySupermarket's official stock exchange announcement.
- The site is being purchased for £60m upfront (a mix of cash and shares) with £27m more conditional on meeting non-financial performance targets over the next three years.
- The Editorial Code has been agreed as part of the sale contract to ensure MSE follows its founding principles to provide the best information to help consumers, based on journalistic research. This editorial line will stay independent of any commercial objectives. See the full Editorial Code in Martin's editorial comment.
- Martin will donate to charity from the deal good causes will receive £10 million in all, with £1 million to Citizens Advice and the remaining £9 million going to a Charities Aid Foundation trust, which means its locked away and can only be donated to official charities.
- The MSE website had approximately 39 million unique visitors and approximately 277 million page impressions in the year ended 31 October 2011. The weekly email is sent to around 5 million addresses, with all recipients having opted in to get it.
- Final completion is subject to clearance by the Office of Fair Trading (which could take a few months), shareholder approval and certain other conditions as is often the case for such deals.
- The MSE team will also share a chunk of the deal value.
- Martin will continue as Editor-in-Chief of MSE in sole charge of the site.
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis says: "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'.
"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.
"I'm chomping at the bit to get going, and come up with new ways to help people save cash and continue campaigning on issues such as PPI and getting financial education on the curriculum. In keeping with the site's aims, when the deal completes, £10 million will go to charity, including £1 million to Citizens Advice, which is facing terrible funding cuts."
Peter Plumb, CEO of MoneySupermarket, says: "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.
"MoneySavingExpert is rightly trusted by its users as a unique source of independent information and views in today's complex financial world. We are committed to maintaining its trusted, independent reputation MoneySupermarket will continue to source even better unique product offerings for customers and further our goal of saving more customers more money in our quest to save UK consumers £2bn a year by 2014.
"Once we complete the purchase I look forward to welcoming the MoneySavingExpert team to the MoneySupermarket team, led by their founder, Martin Lewis, who will be Editor-in-Chief of MoneySavingExpert."