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Answers CEO Seeks More $270 Million Acquisitions

By Sarah Frier
October 12, 2012 12:01 AM EDT

Answers Corp., which lost a bid to buy About.com from the New York Times Co. (NYT) in August, has other plans to grow through acquisitions, Chief Executive Officer David Karandish said.

The question-and-answer website will try for deals similar in scope to About.com before IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) counterbid and won, Karandish said in an interview yesterday at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. Answers had offered $270 million for About.com, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time, while IAC had offered $300 million.

“We’re looking at some things of that size,” Karandish said. He’s looking for companies that will build out content, expand the user base or provide expertise with direct social media advertising sales, he said.

Answers now faces stiffer competition from IAC’s Ask.com, which is combining answers from About.com into its search results, along with information from Wikipedia, in order to generate more advertising income. Answers, which also owns ResellerRatings, would have been able to provide deeper context with content from About.com, Karandish said.

Answers was earlier known as AFCV Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of private equity firm Summit Partners, which had acquired Answers in 2011 for $127 million and took its name.

The failed attempt to acquire About.com raised St. Louis- based Answers’ profile, Karandish said. Answers has 180 million registered users.

“There was a lot of inbound buy and sell interest out of the process,” Karandish said. “We weren’t very well known. We were in the chrysalis.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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