Scripps to Buy uSwitch

Mar 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

E.W. Scripps Co. bolstered its presence in the online shopping space Thursday by agreeing to acquire British comparison-shopping site uSwitch for $366 million cash.

The move comes less than a year after Scripps paid $525 million to acquire Shopzilla.com, a U.S.-based comparison-shopping Web site, and is part of a broader strategy to create an interactive media division for the Cincinnati-based company. In addition to its online commerce, Scripps owns newspapers, television stations and cable channels.

The company said the acquisition would be dilutive to earnings in 2006 and 2007 but was expected to be additive after that. The company expects uSwitch to add to free cash flow beginning in 2007.

USwitch’s main business is providing British customers with price comparisons of products such as gas, electricity, phone service, digital television, broadband, credit cards and secured and unsecured personal loans. The company offers its services free to consumers and generates revenue from commissions paid by companies participating in the service.