LendingTree, an online lending exchange that connects consumers with lenders and banks, recently announced it has reached an agreement to acquire personal finance company ValuePenguin.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, has a total consideration of $105 million. LendingTree said it intends to fund the acquisition through cash on hand and by drawing on its existing credit agreement.

In October, the company acquired QuoteWizard.com, an insurance comparison marketplace, bringing its proprietary platform and network of nearly 10,000 agents to LendingTree’s portfolio. 

LendingTree Founder and CEO Doug Lebda said the company is thrilled to add ValuePenguin's team and expertise to its portfolio, and believes that once paired with QuoteWizard's technology, it could provide tremendous value to customers. 

"Our recent QuoteWizard acquisition was our first step toward leadership in insurance customer acquisition.  Adding ValuePenguin's high-quality content and SEO capability to QuoteWizard's proprietary technology and carrier network will set us apart and enable us to provide immense value to carriers and agents,” Lebda continued. “Both businesses will benefit from LendingTree's strong brand and extensive marketing capabilities. We are in a great position to achieve further scale in the insurance space as well as the broader financial services industry."

ValuePenguin offers consumers objective analysis on a variety of financial topics from insurance to credit cards and more. The company claims to have generated approximately $12.5 million in revenue and $9 million in adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ending on September 30, 2018.

Notably, ValuePenguin expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to 2019 adjusted earnings per share.

"The combination of ValuePenguin's high-quality organic traffic with LendingTree's sophisticated marketing platform and direct carrier relationships will significantly accelerate both of our businesses beyond what we could do independently,” ValuePenguin Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Wu said. “We are delighted to join the LendingTree team and are excited about what our two companies will be able to do together in the coming years."

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