Some consolidation is afoot in online media: Dice Holdings, the career website owner, has bought the online media business of Geeknet, which includes the high-profile tech websites Slashdot, SourceForge, and Freecode, paying $20 million in cash for the assets.
The deal is bringing Dice a set of sites that are profitable and generating good revenues: The company tells me that they are on track for a $20 million turnover this year on EBITDA of $5 million. Slashdot brings in 3.7 million uniques per month; Sourceforge has 40 million monthly unique visitors; and Freecode brings in 500,000 a month.
The purchase announced today was the result of a tender process started by Geeknet back in May when it announced it was seeking strategic alternatives for the media business. And indeed it looks like the deal will leave Geeknet to focus solely on ThinkGeek, its e-commerce site for hipster tech-types.
Dice Holdings has built a business around recruitment and job-finding sites focused on specific niches. They include the technology industry-focused Dice.com, eFinancialCareers, ClearanceJobs, Rigzone, AllHealthcareJobs, and Targeted Job Fairs, an events-focused business. Up to now, its purchases have been more in the area of building up this business — such as its 2010 purchase of Worldwideworker.
It looks like the acquisition of Slashdot and the rest is a play to push more traffic to these lucrative job sites — specifically for Dice.com although you can see where other sites might benefit, too.
“Dice has been talking about building content and user engagement to be top of mind and more integral to professionals doing work, and if you think about SourceForge and Slashdot, it’s about user engagement to help you do your job,” Michael Durney, SVP, finance and CFO of Dice Holdings, told me today in an interview. “We started to build on our own [content business] but here we have two sites that do it very well.
He tells me that the sites will very much appear just as they have done for users. “It’s not about cutting costs,” he said. “We don’t want to change the experience today. What will happen over time is that the Dice.com site will operate more seamlessly connected to these sites. But the sites themselves will keep their look and feel and will run on their own.”
That “absolutely” includes editorial independence, he said. “We think that’s really key. We don’t profess to add much from an editorial standpoint. We will give the user bases on our sites and those the ability to interact with each other. Our goal here is to make them part of the overall tech and engineering experience at the company.” He also hopes that Slashdot and SourceForge in particular, which each get millions of comments from their users, will also be useful to Dice for its own user-engagement attempts. “One of the things we expect to learn is how these sites engage with their user bases,” he said.
Dice.com is a significantly smaller operation in comparison to the combined force of Slashdot, SourceForge, and Freecode. It has a little more than 2 million uniques per month, Durney said. The other sites have 1 million or fewer uniques each.
More to come. Refresh for updates.
Dice Holdings, Inc. Acquires Online Media Business from Geeknet, Inc. Slashdot and SourceForge Significantly Increase Reach into Global Technology Community New York, NY and Fairfax, VA – September 18, 2012 – Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX), a leading provider of specialized career websites, and Geeknet, Inc. (Nasdaq: GKNT) today announced that Dice Holdings has acquired Geeknet’s online media business, including Slashdot and SourceForge. “The acquisition of these premier technology sites fits squarely into our strategy of providing content and services that are important to tech professionals in their everyday work lives,” said Scot Melland, Chairman, President & CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc. “The SourceForge and Slashdot communities will enable our customers to reach millions of engaged tech professionals on a regular basis and significantly extends our company’s reach into the global tech community.” The sites include: Slashdot, a user-generated news, analysis, peer question and professional insight community. Tech professionals moderate the site which averages more than 5,300 comments daily and 3.7 million unique visitors each month. SourceForge, a destination for technology professionals and enthusiasts to develop, download, review and publish open source software, much of which they use in their own organizations. Approximately 80 percent of its roughly 40 million monthly unique visitors are outside the U.S. Freecode, one of the largest indexes of Linux, Unix and cross-platform software, as well as mobile applications generates nearly 500,000 unique visitors each month The acquisition builds on Dice.com’s rich history in providing the best content to help technology professionals succeed in their careers and reinforces the company’s commitment to deliver unique and valuable information to foster engagement in each of its communities. Ken Langone, Chairman of Geeknet, added, “We are very pleased to find a new home for our media business, providing a platform for the sites and our media teams to thrive. With this transaction completed, we will now focus our full attention on growing ThinkGeek.” Dice Holdings acquired the business for $20 million in cash. In 2011, the online media properties generated $20 million in Revenues. About Dice Holdings, Inc. Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) is a leading provider of specialized websites for professional communities, including technology and engineering, financial services, energy, healthcare, and security clearance. Our mission is to help our customers source and hire the most qualified professionals in select and highly skilled occupations, and to help those professionals find the best job opportunities in their respective fields and further their careers. For more than 20 years, we have built our company by providing our customers with quick and easy access to high-quality, unique professional communities and offering those communities access to highly relevant career opportunities and information. Today, we serve multiple markets primarily in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.