Yellow Pages is trying to get more out of local (online) search.
YPG has signed an agreement to buy the 411.ca search directory brand including domain names. They are also picking up an ownership interest in the 411 Local Search Corp.
Yellow Pages already owns and operates the Canada411.ca directory.
I think this deal makes sense for YP. Paper phonebooks are declining in use because more people are doing their local searching online. YP either has to take advantage of this trend or wither away.
Thanks to the tip from DomainAssets.ca on this story.
Full news release from MarketWire:
MONTREAL, QUEBEC, Feb 22, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Yellow Pages Group (YPG) and 411 Local Search Corp., operator of 411.ca(TM), announced today that they have signed an agreement under which terms YPG will purchase the 411.ca brand and domain names and acquire an ownership interest in 411 Local Search Corp. The agreement will further enable both companies to leverage the online traffic between YPG's leading Canada411.ca(TM) and YellowPages.ca(TM) properties, and 411.ca, a fast-growing online directory. This agreement that unites two of Canada's largest local search engines will provide enhanced online reach for advertisers and a greater experience for users.
"We are continuing to expand our reach, making it simple and easy for businesses to attract customers locally through our continually growing network of properties," said Stephane Marceau, Chief Marketing Officer at Yellow Pages Group. "With the acquisition of the 411.ca trademark, we gain a top-of-mind brand, reinforcing our leadership position as the destinations where people go to find the businesses, products, people and places that they are looking for."
411.ca has grown to attract close to 10% of online users, generating 13 million queries for local Canadian businesses each month. The addition of the 411.ca site will add approximately one million unduplicated unique visitors to YPG's network reach.
"We are very excited to establish this relationship with Yellow Pages Group," said Stephen K. Curry, President and Chief Executive Officer at 411 Local Search Corp. "Canadian businesses want results from their advertising programs that have a measureable impact on their bottom line. This deal will allow us to develop new programs and tools that will help 411.ca advertisers attract even more clientele."
Under the agreement, 411 Local Search Corp. will have an exclusive license to use the 411.ca trademark until YPG purchases the balance of outstanding shares in the company within approximately three to five years. YPG intends to close this transaction in early March 2010, subject to certain conditions, including the approval by 411 Local Search Corp. shareholders. Alexander Capital Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to YPG on this transaction.
About Yellow Pages Group
Yellow Pages Group (YPG) is Canada's leading performance media and marketing solutions company. The Company brings consumers and businesses together locally through its network of print, digital and mobile properties. YPG enables consumers to make smarter decisions, helping people find what they need wherever and whenever. The Company partners with businesses to build successful marketing and lead generation programs, helping them grow their business. YPG owns and operates some of Canada's leading properties and publications including Yellow Pages(TM) directories, YellowPages.ca(TM), and Canada411.ca(TM). YPG is indirectly held by Yellow Media Inc. /quotes/comstock/11t!ylo.un (CA:YLO.UN 5.86, 0.00, 0.00%) . For more information, www.ypg.com.
411.ca Canada's Local Search Engine(TM), is the most visited pure online local search engine in Canada. Each month over 2 million Canadians use 411.ca to connect with businesses and individuals in their community. Through cost-effective advertising programs that drive sales and maximize brand exposure, 411.ca helps businesses of all sizes to grow and prosper. Currently the site features over 1.5 million basic, Owner Verified(TM) and premium local business listings. 411.ca is owned and operated by 411 Local Search Corp., a privately-held Canadian company with offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information and other facts visit www.411.ca.