Cars.com domain name sale valued at $872 million dollars!

Directnic

Domain investor George Kirikos has uncovered what appears to be the highest ever valuation for a domain name.

The entire business behind Cars.com, which was valued at $2.5 billion dollars last year, includes a monetary reference of “intangible assets” – or, the very domain name, Cars.com.

Its valuation in the documents filed with the US Government: a staggering $872,320,000 dollars.

The reference is made in two places in the Form 10k filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

“After the impairment testing date, we completed our acquisition of Cars.com and as a result recorded an indefinite-lived trade name valued at $872 million.”

And “Indefinite-lived intangible assets: $872,320,000.

Wow.

If this is confirmed, Cars.com could be the absolute most expensive domain name sale, ever.

Currently, 360.com holds the record of the most expensive domain name, at $17 million dollars.


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Comments

12 Responses to “Cars.com domain name sale valued at $872 million dollars!”
  1. RaTHeaD says:

    ya gotta remember… 872 million isn’t as much as it used to be.

  2. DomainGang says:

    RaTHeaD – I know, right? BadEconomy.com has the real reasons why this is true.

  3. David Walker says:

    After I purchase RadioShack.com for $20mm, I should have enough spare change left over in my wallet for this one.

  4. KC says:

    “indefinite-lived trade name valued at $872 million.” Is it the same as purely a domain name?

  5. DomainGang says:

    KC – Domains are intangible assets. See http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/intangibleasset.asp

  6. FYI, the 872.320 mln $ referred on page 55 of Gannet’s Form 10-K as “Indefinite-lived intangible assets” refer mainly to Mastheads and Trade Names (mainly trademarks), not only to the Cars.com domain, which is just a portion (probably a small portion) and which is likely included under Tradenames (usually this is the practice), please see note 4 on page 58.
    Cars.com is a business which has other relevant intangibles apart from this domain name.
    In Gannet’s case the item “Indefinite-lived intangible assets”, which are periodically subject to impairment test, includes Television station FCC licenses, Mastheads and trade names.
    Therefore 872.320 mln $ is NOT the value attributed to the Cars.com domain.
    A breakdown of the item “Mastheads and Tradenames” is not provided, so the value attributed to the domain has not been disclosed.
    I’d suggest you to contact Gannett CFO or Head of IR, maybe they are available to provide you this detail.

  7. SSD says:

    Wow, thats insane! Almost a billion dollars for a single domain.. lol

  8. Andrea: It’s clear the $872 million *is* attributable to the domain name. See the table on page 55 which Theo mentioned, which is a breakdown of that Cars.com acquisition into its component parts. It’s not a valuation of ALL of Gannett’s intangibles (i.e. it owns lots of other websites and brands, e.g USA TOday), just the value from the Cars.com domain name (which is identical to its trade name).

    You’ll note that on page 26, they’re valuing ‘goodwill’ entirely separately from the $872 million.

  9. George,
    Table on page 55 represents the allocation of Cars.com business purchase price to the acquired assets and assumed liabilities.
    Under the item “Indefinite-lived intangible assets”, which are only a part of Intangible Assets (which includes also Goodwill and Definite-lived intangible assets) the company includes Mastheads and Trade Names (mainly trademarks), and Television station FCC licenses, as you can see under Note 4 on page 58.
    I never said that 872 mln $ is a valuation of all Gannett’s intangibles, you are crassly twisting my words, read my words again.
    I’ve been working as a professional Equity Analyst for banks, brokers, hedge funds and other institutional investors for almost 16 years, so I know what Intangibles are and which different categories of Intangibles you can find, how they are treated, etc.
    If you check note 4, page 58, you will see that the increase of the item “Mastheads and trade names” is almost entirely due to the acquisition of Cars.com business.
    Included in the the item “Mastheads and trade names” you can find also the value attributed to Cars.com domain, which is only a part (I think a small part) of the 872 mln $, NOT the entire amount.
    The item “trade names” includes both the value allocated to company trade names (trademarks) and the domain name/s, but trade names and domain names are not the same thing, they are considered and valued separately.
    As far as I can see, the specific value attributed only to Cars.com domain is not provided on this 10-K, but I’d glad to get an official confirmation about this figure from the company CFO.

  10. DomainGang says:

    Interesting discussion. Is there a chance that there is no separation of the domain from other ‘intangible assets’ as part of this transaction?

  11. If you mean separation in terms of value (purchase price) allocated to the specific asset, I don’t think so, unless the amount is small or not meaningful.
    Intangible assets are already “separated” in different categories, as you can see in the table on page 55.
    The domain value was almost surely included under “Trade Names”, which represent a part of Indefinite-lived intangible assets, which in turn are just a part of the company Intangible assets, which also include Goodwill and Amortizable intangible assets.
    Anyway, I’ve contacted Gannett’s CFO and IR manager to get some more details, as soon as I get a reply I’ll post an update.

  12. No reply so far from Gannett management … that’s not a good sign …

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