We’ve just learned that Jay Penske, the man behind Mail.com, has sold off the email portal side of the business (Mail.com) to Germany’s United Internet Group, in order to focus on the company’s more content driven sites such as Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com, Bonnie Fuller’s HollywoodLife.com, Movieline.com and OnCars.com.
This sale will also mark Mail.com’s transition from the clunky Mail.com moniker to the more streamlined MMC. United Internet Group plans on merging Mail.com with their existing GMX email product, holding the highly desirable @mail.com domain name as very valuable to their plans for international expansion.
Sources say the deal just went through for between $50-$100 million. Full press release below:
MMC ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC TRANSACTION WITH EUROPE’S LARGEST INTERNET COMPANY
LOS ANGELES, CA. September 20th, 2010 – MMC, the leading publisher and digital media company that owns content properties such as OnCars.com, Deadline.com, HollywoodLife.com, Movieline.com, BGR.com, YHAwards.com, HollyBaby.com, Fan.com, India.com and others, today announced a strategic transaction related to its Mail.com asset with Europe’s largest Internet company, United Internet Group. The Germany based United Internet, a multi-billion dollar publicly listed communications leader, plans to leverage their pioneering e-mail subsidiary GMX to continue the success that Mail.com experienced under the MMC umbrella, while dramatically building the e-mail service internationally.
Under the terms of the agreement, the United Internet Group has acquired the Mail.com e-mail business from MMC, but MMC will remain the primary global content provider for the Mail.com portal. MMC will also be partnering with United Internet to launch properties and distribute online content across various international markets, initially targeting Germany and India. Jay Penske, Founder and CEO of MMC remarked, ―This extraordinary transaction further enhances MMC’s position as a global leader in publishing original digital content. Additionally, we are thrilled to embark on this partnership with United Internet and know that they will continue to expand the Mail.com brand internationally. We have tremendous respect for United Internet and the business they have built, and look forward to launching digital properties with them for years to come.
Over the course of the transition, the current Mail.com e-mail service will be migrated, with every user receiving the award-winning e-mail platform and interface from United Internet’s primary e- mail brand, GMX. ―With Mail.com, we are looking forward to being able to combine the best international domain for e-mail with our globally successful e-mail product,‖ says GMX General Manager Jan Oetjen. ―The specific strength of Mail.com is its unique character: You can easily memorize the name @mail.com; it is attractive and, at the same time, a neutral alternative to provider- oriented address endings such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Google Mail globally. And furthermore.
Mail.com offers consumers a choice of over 300 additional e-mail addresses. On the highly competitive international e-mail market, we perceive Mail.com as a unique opportunity for differentiation which cannot be copied.
In connection to the acquisition of Mail.com, United Internet and MMC have also agreed on strategic collaboration for MMC’s significant joint venture in the website India.com, which is also part of the MMC portfolio. This website will also take advantage of custom GMX-powered e-mail products. This strategic alliance also means a forthcoming rebrand for the holding company MMC.
―In the coming weeks we look forward to sharing a new corporate identity which characterizes the strength and excellence of the collective brands in our portfolio and the content they create. Although the branding of MMC will be changing, all aspects of our corporate vision, strategy, business operations, events, and content properties remain unchanged—now with an even greater focus on expanding the portfolio of published content properties,‖ said Jay Penske.
MMC is a leading publishing and digital media company founded by Chairman and CEO Jay Penske in 2004. The company owns and operates a unique portfolio of lifestyle brands that provide the web’s best original content in categories including entertainment, tech, automotive, breaking news, media, finance, health, beauty, style and sports. Deadline.com, HollywoodLife.com, OnCars.com, BGR.com, HollyBaby.com, Movieline.com, India.com, Fan.com, and the Young Hollywood Awards, Style Awards, and Breakthrough of the Year Awards are all part of the expanding MMC portfolio.
About UNITED INTERNET GROUP:
The United Internet Group, is Europe’s largest publicly listed Internet company with a multi-billion market capitalization and nearly 5,000 employees worldwide, and is one of the web’s pioneers of communication via the Internet.