CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, LendingTree, LLC, has completed the previously announced acquisition of QuoteWizard.com, LLC, one of the largest insurance comparison marketplaces in the growing online insurance advertising market. The acquisition of QuoteWizard marks LendingTree’s first official entry into the insurance vertical.
“I’m thrilled to formally welcome QuoteWizard to the LendingTree team,” said Doug Lebda, Founder and CEO of LendingTree. “Expanding LendingTree’s product portfolio through the acquisition of QuoteWizard creates an incredible opportunity to drive continued growth and deliver shareholder value by further diversifying the business, leveraging the strength of the LendingTree brand, and capitalizing on the ongoing digitalization of financial services.”
The equity purchase has a possible total consideration of $370.2 million, which consists of $300 million in cash at closing and contingent payments of up to $70.2 million, subject to achieving certain growth targets over a three-year period. The upfront payment was funded with a combination of $175 million cash on hand and $125 million borrowing against the Company’s revolving credit facility.
Expansion of Revolving Credit Facility
LendingTree, Inc. amended its Revolving Credit Facility to provide $100 million of increased borrowing capacity, bringing total borrowing capacity to $350 million. Pricing and other terms and conditions of the revolver remain unchanged.
In connection with the acquisition of QuoteWizard, on October 31, 2018, the company granted restricted stock unit awards to one hundred forty-five key employees of QuoteWizard under its 2017 Inducement Grant Plan as a material inducement to entering into employment with the company. The one hundred forty-five key employees were granted a total of 18,106 restricted stock units. These restricted stock units will vest, if at all, over three years from the date of closing with one-third of the total award amount vesting each year. The awards provide for accelerated vesting in the event of certain events. The awards were approved in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), which requires a public announcement of these awards.
QuoteWizard.com, LLC owns and operates an insurance comparison online marketplace. The company helps consumers navigate the insurance landscape and enables easy comparison shopping. It offers personalized quotes on auto, home, renters, health, and Medicare supplement insurance. The company services clients by driving consumers to insurance companies’ websites, providing leads to agents and carriers, as well as phone transfers of consumers into carrier call centers. The company’s products include Delty, a CPC platform; Cello, a lead distribution platform; and WizardCalls, a warm transfer platform. QuoteWizard.com, LLC was founded in 2006 and is based in Seattle, WA.