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InfoSpace Buys Online Tax Solutions Company TaxACT For $287.5M In Cash

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Online search and SEO services company InfoSpace has acquired 2nd Story Software, the holding company for online tax solutions provider TaxACT for $287.5 million in cash, the company announced today. InfoSpace, which operates so-called ‘metasearch’ engines like Dogpile and metacrawler, says the acquisition is expected to close this quarter.

Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2nd Story Software / TaxACT is the second largest provider of online tax solutions for individuals and businesses (after Intuit’s TurboTax), with approximately 70 full-time employees.

InfoSpace, which is listed on NASDAQ and has a market cap of approximately $435 million, says the transaction is expected to be accretive to its earnings per share straight away, and that year one return on shareholder capital is expected to exceed 16 percent.

The company says it will fund the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and debt, and that it has secured a commitment for roughly $95 million to fund the transaction. TA Associates, the majority shareholder of TaxACT, will sell its full holdings as part of the deal.

For the twelve months ending September 30, 2011, TaxACT is said to have clocked $78.1 million in revenues. The combined company is expected to have estimated cash and short term investments in excess of $90 million.-