Scripps Networks Interactive is actively shopping around uSwitch, a UK-focused online price comparison and switching service for home services and personal finance products, which it acquired back in 2006 for a lofty $366 million in net cash.
Scripps Networks Interactive, itself spun out off E.W. Scripps back in October 2007, has engaged investment banking firm Allen & Company to assist in its search for a “qualified buyer” for uSwitch without establishing a timetable for completion of a transaction.
Scripps says the decision to seek a buyer for uSwitch has no bearing on Shopzilla, the comparison shopping site it acquired back in 2005 which the company intends to continue to operate.
Joseph G. NeCastro, executive VP and CFO for Scripps Networks Interactive, commented:
“Our objective is to find a buyer who fully appreciates the value of the powerful uSwitch brand and its market-leading position for energy switching in the United Kingdom. While we believe firmly in the vitality of the business, we’ve concluded that uSwitch and its future might be better served if it were part of another company that could add more direct value to a services comparison business.”
Or in other words, they want to get rid of it and hope that they’ll find someone to take off their hands, pretty please.