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It’s official: Zillow now owns Trulia

$2.5 billion deal completed; companies form “Zillow Group”

It’s finally official. After months of speculation, investigation, and consternation, Zillow (Z) and Trulia (TRLA) are now one and the same. Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia is complete.

As part of the deal, the two companies formed a new company, Zillow Group, which will continue trading under Zillow’s current stock symbol, Z.

The final price tag for Zillow? $2.5 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. When the deal was first announced, the price for acquiring Trulia was reported to be $3.5 billion, but given that it was a stock-for-stock transaction, the final price was far lower.

The deal was delayed several times by the Federal Trade Commission, which investigated the deal for potential anti-trust violations.

The FTC closed its investigation on Friday, leading Zillow to announce that the merger would be completed “as early as February 17.”

As it turns out, that was exactly what happened.

"This is a pivotal day in online real estate and we couldn't be more excited to welcome Trulia to Zillow Group," said Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group.

“Each of our brands share a consumer-first philosophy, and our powerful combination of insights and expertise will drive even greater innovation for consumers, empowering them with essential information they need to make critical financial decisions,” Rascoff continued.

“Our combination will also enable real estate professionals to more efficiently and easily reach the nation's largest audience of engaged buyers, sellers and homeowners, and extract even more value from their advertising."

According to Zillow, Trulia stockholders received 0.444 shares of Class A Common Stock of Zillow Group, Inc. for each share of Trulia Common Stock, and now own approximately 33% of the combined company as of closing.

Current Zillow holders of Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock received one share of comparable Zillow Group Common Stock, representing approximately 67% of the newly combined company. Zillow Group now has approximately 70.5 million fully diluted shares outstanding.

Under the terms of the deal, Paul Levine, who was previously Trulia's chief operating officer, has been named president of Trulia and will report to Rascoff. Pete Flint, co-founder and former CEO of Trulia, has joined the Zillow Group board of directors. Former Trulia board member Greg Waldorf has also joined the Zillow Group board.

The company also announced the layoffs of 280 employees, primarily in the San Francisco and Bellevue, Washington, offices. Zillow Group eliminated the positions “due primarily to redundancy in the combined company's sales and administrative organizations.”

Additionally, the company expects to eliminate 70 more positions. Once the positions are eliminated, Zillow Group will have approximately 2,000 employees. Zillow Group said that the 350 affected employees have already been notified.

The company also reports that later this year, it expects to begin to offer shared services and marketing platforms for advertisers and industry partners that will “enhance efficiency and deliver greater return on investment.”

When the deal was announced, the companies said they would remain separate entities, though real estate agents will be able to advertise on both sites and gain access to combined tech efforts.

“Consumers love using Zillow and Trulia to find vital information about homes and connect with the best local real estate professionals,” Rascoff said at the time. “Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships, but it’s still early days in the world of real estate advertising on mobile and Web.

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