Home > Business, English, Internet, Web > Acquisition Opportunity for Yahoo or Google- Marchex

Acquisition Opportunity for Yahoo or Google- Marchex

Last time I analyzed CNET’s individual assets, the company was acquired 4 months later. Now, amidst the current economic nightmare, there is a fresh new opportunity to grab a gift – Marchex (MCHX). Yahoo, who’s recent conflicts have left many asking for Yang’s head and who’s stock has lost almost 50% since failed negotiations with Ballmer, has a small opportunity to vindicate themselves.

Of course, there’s also Google who needs to continue increasing their revenues in order to support their generous stock PE. Although I would insist that this is a more logical acquisition for Yahoo! to build themselves into a more attractive position for Yahoo! to be acquired, possibly still by Microsoft.

So, what does Marchex bring to the table?

High quality traffic and prime Internet Real Estate.

By its own, Marchex is priced slightly below their current value. However, when you take Google or Yahoo’s advertiser base and traffic sources and fuse it with Marchex’s high quality domain portfolio you get a multiplier effect.

Marchex has made two brilliant moves:

1. Spanish domain portfolio acquisition

This portfolio contains over 100 of the most attractive Spanish domain names and was calculated to generate more than one million unique visitors per month. Of course, these are mostly visitors coming straight to the sites, because of type-in traffic. Take a look at the jewels:

mujer.com (women.com)
fotos.com (photos.com)
deportes.com (sports.com)
salud.com (health.com)
peliculas.com (movies.com)
mascotas.com (pets.com)
futbol.com (soccer.com)
cocina.com (kitchen or cook.com)
tarjetas.com (cards.com)
dietas.com (diets.com)
computadoras.com (computers.com)

The whole list is found here http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2007/5/emw527846.htm

The value of these domain names are like a slow curve that quickly accelerates exponentially as the Spanish market (Spain, Mexico, Caribbean and South America) online advertising solidifies. One must understand that this market has been extremely slow to develop, mostly because of the number of computers available in each household and lack of understanding from old school marketing executives. However, the panorama is changing quickly and will fuel advertiser dollars to the ‘net.

The Spanish domain portfolio could be easily worth $500 million to $2 billion in a 5 year window, depending on the development of all these domain names into fully usable content and social portals.

The second source of value in Marchex is their 2004 acquisition of UltSearch’s domain portfolio.

In this portfolio, there are over 100,000 domain names of high search traffic value. There are also a few generic jewels in the mix like beijing.com, debts.com, and remodeling.com.

It’s hard to value the whole portfolio and I suspect that most of the names would probably not be of any significant worth. However, assuming even 1% of the names are of the quality of debts.com and beijing.com would make the portfolio highly attractive.

I wouldn’t doubt that this portfolio had at least $100 million in value (Marchex paid over $150 million a few years ago for the portfolio).

Finally, someone over at Marchex decided to accumulate zip code domain name. Wrap them up, put a bow on top of them and sell it for a few million to some telephone company still figuring out their online strategy. I’d also garage sale the auto content generation technology.

Marchex is currently priced at $300 million. Year-to-date they are down almost 30%. This is exactly how much it is worth.. a 30 to 50% premium on its current price.

  1. November 2, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    They have the zip codes in .com / .net — somebody will get a sweet deal.. lol yea right. Agree with you wholeheartedly that they need to start dumping..it is time.

    Best,

    Mike

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