Investing

TheStreet.com Diversification Buyout, Going After Bankrate Territory (TSCM, RATE)

TheStreet.com (NASDAQ:TSCM) is making an acquisition that is moving away from investor news, research, statistics, and other content data.  The content provider is acquiring Bankers Financial Products Corp., including BankingMyWay (www.BankingMyWay.com) and RateWatch (www.Rate-Watch.com).

The company serves as a market and pricing strategy partner for more than 5,600 financial institutions.  It says it surveys more than 24,000 financial institutions to provide clients with the most accurate up to date competitor rate information and it claims the largest database of rate information in the industry.  RateWatch compiles CD, checking and IRA rates, as well as promotional specials.  It also compiles lending rates for consumers and mortgage products.  It also shows various fees for wire transfers, ATM fees, safe deposit boxes, savings account fees, and checking charges.  RateWatch can also compile historical reports. RateQuest is RateWatch’s new online data querying system allowing instant access to accurate and timely competitive data from the financial industry.

This also allows consumers to conduct free searches to find the best banking rates within their city, zip code or state.

The purchase price listed is approximately $25 million, with $16.9 million being cash and 636,081 shares of TheStreet.com’s common stock.  It is also said to be an accretive content acquisition.  TheStreet.com’s market cap is currently $381 million, and if you wanted a comparison it sure sounds a lot like it is going into some of the same areas as Bankrate.com (NASDAQ:RATE).  This is still in the financial content arena, although it is a far cry away from the traditional investment content it is known for.

Jon C. Ogg
November 2, 2007