Online real estate brokerage Redfin has said it will acquire the apartment search giant RentPath Holdings Inc. and combine that company’s listings with its own platform.
The idea is to create a more comprehensive platform where people can search for a home to rent or purchase, Redfin said. The acquisition will add around 20,000 apartment listings to Redfin’s site if it gains approval.
RentPath is the owner of several property websites, including ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, and Rentals.com. Those sites attract a combined 16 million monthly visitors each month, on average.
Redfin said it will pay $608 million in cash to acquire RentPath, which filed for bankruptcy in February 2020.
RentPath has remained in business while its bankruptcy proceedings are still ongoing, and the company’s owners have been searching far and wide for a solution during this time. It first tried to merge with CoStar Group Inc, which also operates several apartment listing websites, only to see that deal blocked by the Federal Trade Commission in December due to antitrust allegations. The problem, according to the FTC, was that the merger would have eliminated competition to the detriment of renters and property managers.
Redfin’s proposed acquisition of RentPath must pass the FTC’s scrutiny and also be approved by a bankruptcy judge before it can be finalized. If the deal goes ahead, it will enable RentPath to exit the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Redfin Chief Executive Glenn Kelman said around 20% of its site visitors are looking for a home to rent rather than purchase, so it’s easy to see why it would want access to RentPath’s listings.
“RentPath has more than 20,000 apartment buildings on its rental websites and grew its traffic more than 25% last year,” Kelman said. “We can almost double that audience, as one in five of Redfin.com’s 40-plus million monthly visitors also wants to see homes for rent. Together with RentPath, we can create an online destination for every North American to find a home.”
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