CoStar, the commercial property data giant that also runs the top U.S. rentals site, Apartments.com, is reportedly in acquisition talks with CoreLogic. The discussions will hinge partly on the outcome of a CoreLogic board election next week, Reuters reported.
A specialist in residential real estate data, CoreLogic could give CoStar a window into for-sale consumer real estate. That could put the $35 billion company in direct competition with Zillow, with a market cap of $25 billion.
CoreLogic, with a market cap of $6 billion, has confirmed it’s been courting buyers. Last month, it rejected a cash offer of $7 billion from a pair of shareholders, Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group, Reuters reported. It declined the bidders’ request to open its books for due diligence, saying the $66-per-share offer was too low.
Now CoreLogic is fending off a board challenge after the spurned bidders accused the firm of refusing to launch a thorough sales process, Reuters wrote.
This week CoreLogic issued a public statement saying it had “acquisition interest from new ‘credible parties’ as deal talks progressed,” Reuters reported.
One of the suitors is reportedly CoStar, which has said it would be interested in a takeover for $77 to $83 per share, Bloomberg reported. CoStar balked during initial talks because it didn’t want to sign a non-disclosure agreement, Reuters reported.
CoreLogic has said some bidders have signed the NDA, but didn’t name them. However, the Reuters report stated one bidder was a private equity consortium led by Warburg Pincus and GTCR.
This week, CoStar indicated it was still interested, but preferred to wait until the resolution of CoreLogic’s board fight before resuming talks, Reuters wrote. Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment have nominated nine candidates for CoreLogic’s 12-seat board, and an election is set for November 17.
CoStar did not respond to the AIM Group’s request for a comment.
CoStar is growing an ever larger footprint in commercial property data, having recently acquired Germany-based competitor Emporis for an undisclosed price. In the last year, it has also acquired STR, an international data specialist in hotels and vacation properties, as well as Ten-X, a commercial property auction platform.
CoStar’s marketplaces include Loopnet, the No. 1 commercial-property listings site by traffic, and Apartments.com, the No. 1 consumer rental site in the U.S. It is in the process of acquiring competitor RentPath out of bankruptcy.
If CoStar would acquire CoreLogic, it would mark a major first step into for-sale consumer real estate. CoreLogic counts 600,000 users, including real estate agents and major multiple listing services (MLSes).
If CoStar entered into for-sale consumer real estate, it would have a war chest that would more than match that of Zillow, the No. 1 homes site in the U.S.
In a recent editorial on the Inman real estate information site, founder Brad Inman cautioned agents, “Don’t be surprised if some day in the future you wake up and find yourself buying ads from them for your home listings.”