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Bankrate to be acquired by Apax for USD28.50 per share

Online consumer finance firm Bankrate has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired and taken private by funds advised by Apax Partners, a global private equity firm with over

Online consumer finance firm Bankrate has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired and taken private by funds advised by Apax Partners, a global private equity firm with over USD35bn in funds under advice.

Under the terms of the agreement, Apax will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Bankrate for USD28.50 per share in cash, followed by a merger to acquire all remaining outstanding Bankrate shares at the same price paid in the tender offer.

The offer price represents a premium of 18.2 per cent over the average closing price for the previous ten trading days. The transaction is valued at approximately USD571m.

Apax is providing 100 per cent of the financing for the acquisition from its equity funds under management.

Shareholders representing approximately 24 per cent of Bankrate’s outstanding shares have entered into support agreements with Apax in connection with the transaction.

"Apax’s offer represents attractive value to our shareholders, while also giving us significantly enhanced flexibility to execute on our long-term strategy in a difficult economic climate," says Thomas R. Evans, president and chief executive of Bankrate. "Apax Partners has a proven track record of investing in successful, growing companies, and we are excited about this partnership."

"We are very attracted to Bankrate’s position as a leading online consumer finance website and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bankrate’s management team in a private setting to expand their platform," says Mitch Truwit (pictured), a partner at Apax Partners. "Furthermore, we are delighted to be investing in a company that straddles two of our core investment sectors, media and financial services."

Bankrate’s board of directors unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including minimum levels of participation in the tender offer and regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Apax will commence the tender offer no later than 28 July 2009. The transaction is currently expected to close at the end of the third quarter of 2009.

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic.com. Each of these businesses helps consumers make informed decisions about their personal finance matters.

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