“We got a tip earlier this evening that Hearst acquired New-York based UGO and will announce the deal tomorrow. It sounds like Forbes got a tip as well, and a better one: they’re saying the price should be around $100 million. UGO is a popular new media site that was founded in 1997 and, according to Forbes, is generating around $30 million/year in revenue.
They spring up in rumors often as a company that makes the rounds trying to sell itself, and a lot of companies have passed on them, at this price. The company has raised $82 million in capital.”
From the site:
“UGO Networks is the ultimate online entertainment playground for people with “Gamer DNA.” UGO engages its massive audience with interactive content and information about the hottest games, movies, TV shows, music, comics, technology, sports and celebrities. Attracting a young, predominantly male demographic, UGO reaches 11 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and over 28 million worldwide, consistently placing among Nielsen//Netratings’ Top 10 multi-category entertainment properties. The company delivers customized, high impact advertising programs for its world-class client base.”
“Moses has been trying to sell his company for more than two years. Just about every media giant out there has taken a look at the deal, and then taken a pass. The nine-year-old company has 82 employees and brings in some $30 million in revenue and an estimated $6 million in EBITDA. A nice little company, to be sure, but let’s put that into context. MySpace, which aims for a similar audience, is expected to bring in $1 billion in revenue this year. And it’s three-and-a-half years old.
Kenneth Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media, said he plans to retain both Moses and McCracken, and allow them to run the company as a separate entity. Bronfin will also consider more acquisitions to help build out the UGO property. Areas for growth include user-generated content (UGO still gets all its content from full-time employees and paid freelancers) and video.”
“There’s a lot of focus on entertainment, whether new movies or DVDs,” Hearst Interactive President Kenneth Bronfin told Reuters. “We’re appealing to this demographic by what they love to do on the Internet.”
“This is the first operating division within my group and we will help to grow it and do additional acquisitions,” he said.”