Ziff Davis Buys Toolbox.com
The deal is ZD's fourth in the last year.
Terms were not released, but former owners Corporate Executive Board bought the network, which launched in 1998, in July 2007 for $58.9 million. Back then, the site was simply ITtoolbox and had just over 1 million registered users. Media investment bank DeSilva + Phillips represented CEB in the deal with Ziff Davis.
Now, with the expansion into the other verticals, the network claims 2.3 million registered users. Yet, the IT market is the obvious fit for Ziff Davis, and the company has already made it a unit of its B2B Focus group, which was formed when the company bought IT research and lead-gen company Focus Research, Inc.
The obvious market overlap and potential customer well notwithstanding, the deal allows ZD to tap into a realtime conversation among IT pros, giving it access to a wealth of lead-gen opportunities and content and product generation ideas. "The IT community relies on itself to make decisions and be informed," says Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah in a statement. "Owning the leading professional networking site is a significant strategic advantage for Ziff Davis."
In a partnership with Great Hill Partners, Shah bought Ziff Davis in mid-2010.