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Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a private equity firm would buy Internet Brands, which operates a portfolio of websites and software, in a bet that it can help the company expand its services.
The deal is worth $1.1 billion, according to sources. K.K.R. is buying the company from two other private equity firms, Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity, which bought it for $640 million in 2010.
Members of the Internet Brands management team are investing in the deal alongside K.K.R. They will hold a minority stake and continue to run the company.
Based in El Segundo in Calif, Internet Brands owns websites like Lawyers.com, CarsDirect.com and ApartmentRatings.com. The company has generated a large portion of its revenue from advertising, while also selling leads to law offices and car dealerships.
Recently it has expanded in an area called “software as a service” that provides companies with software to accomplish certain tasks.
The company is also aiming to expand each of these various business lines, while maintaining the focus on certain broad categories: automobiles, health, legal and a fourth category the company calls home and travel. There are no plans to break up the business, the two people briefed on the matter said.
The private equity firm is also an owner of Go Daddy, a domain name registration company.