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back to article MoneySavingExpert.com founder flogs website for £87m

MoneySavingExpert.com - the advice website for people seeking decent insurance, credit cards and other money deals - is being sold for £87m to MoneySupermarket.com. Personal finance journalist Martin Lewis founded the site in 2003. The proposed deal awaits clearance from shareholders and regulators including the Office of Fair …

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Hopefully MoneySupermarket remembered to get cashback through Quidco.

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Anonymous Coward

And now no longer trustworthy

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Still independent

Editorial Code

See the above link for the editorial code that is part of the contract of the sale. It's pretty robust. Seeing as moneysavingexpert.com went to great lengths to be independent and up front it seems little point in buying the site if you were planning the opposite. I would expect the real worth for moneysupermarket.com is the visitor tracking data. Where are the visitors going, what are they looking at, what are the trends, who can moneysupermarket persuade to give them higher commision based on it,etc.

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ACx

Re: Still independent

Editorial code? Do you have News International's editorial code handy?

IMHO, once a connection exists, all bets are off.

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IT Angle

To be fair, well done to Martin Lewis

Not only has he made that much money in 9 years, donating to charity will help his public image and is genuinly an amazing thing to do

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But where do you sign up to get your website relentlessly plugged on the BBC?

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Cynical...perhaps

Donating huge sums to charity is usually a means of off setting income tax. Unless Martin's going to tick the little box that says "yes, I'm a taxpayer" when he donates then it may not be quite the altruistic gesture it appears to be.

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Bronze badge

Re: Cynical...perhaps

You say that as though paying the governent to help people (probably via grants to charities...) will somehow result in a better outcome for the people in need than paying the money directly to the charities.

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FAIL

Re: Cynical...perhaps

FFS man, he builds up a website, gives money to charity, makes some money for himself and you still lambast him? What the fuck do you want him to do? Donate the lot to charity and live on the dole?

Good on you ML.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cynical...perhaps

Recently a donation of £2m was given to a local public school (a 'charity') to build a new boat shed on the river. That looks altruistic but was offset against tax. Personally I would prefer that £2m went to help reduce the defecit.

Martin Lewis is not making a charity donation. He is now one of the wealthy and gets to say how money he would otherwise pay in tax is spent.

The irony is that this is Tories tried to cap charity donations to prevent this kind of thing!

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Re: Cynical...perhaps

"Martin Lewis is not making a charity donation. He is now one of the wealthy and gets to say how money he would otherwise pay in tax is spent."

I never really thought of it like that.

Although he has to pay for the privilege by donating a large sum of money to the charity out of his own pocket..

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Headmaster

Chomping?

I'm guessing he means "champing at the bit", but never mind

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Chomping?

At least in this case it's a misnomer that still makes sense, since champing and chomping are essentially the same thing. As oppose to the likes of "could care less", for instance.

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Headmaster

Re: Chomping?

"misnomer" - actually you mean "malapropism"

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Anonymous Coward

romanes eunt domus

I do very much enjoy comments from pedantic grammar nazis.

I just wish the icon could be John Cleese as a Roman centurion in the Life of Brian - perhaps with a pencilled in Hitler 'tache?

Hail Caesar

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Headmaster

Re: romanes eunt domus

I think you mean "vocabulary", not "grammar".

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@Alfred

perfect!

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Headmaster

Re: Chomping?

Nah - not a malapropism - the effect isn't really laughable or ridiculous as it doesn't really change the meaning.

Malapropism is more like using effluent instead of affluent.

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Happy

Re: Chomping?

Reminds me of the Mongrels episode with Scott Mills:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltb_14CWqDA

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Headmaster

Re: Chomping?

...and as opposed to

Agree with you about could care less, tho'. Second, on my list of teeth-grindingly irritatingly stupid 'Merkin' abuses of the English language, only to using then in place of than as a comparitive.

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Holmes

Re: romanes eunt domus

@Alfred: If you're not actually studying for or teaching a linguistics degree then "grammar" quite conveniently covers just about anything to do with the English language, especially when one is in the business of delivering petty criticism. Only the most tactless of pedants would actually go so far as to point out the error in another's choix des mots when said other is patently cheering you on, regardless of how unskilled or fumbling they may seem. As an inveterate pedant, one must take one's societal affirmation where one can find it.

*flares nostrils*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could care less, then/than

Actually these aren't really Americanisms, there are some pretty stupid and annoying bastardisations of the English language that Mr Webster put in place but even he was not so ridiculous as to suggest the above were valid.

These examples are just demonstrations of downright ignorance and appear almost universally.

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Bargain

Considering that it's so much more useful than FB, I'm surprised how little it went for.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bargain

Probably a fair price: a news letter full of factual content with regular readers numbering in the single digit millions. Got to be worth a few pence per eyeball per week to someone in the same line of business.

Does put FaceBook into perspective.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bargain

He, and MSE, have a big following on Facebook.

When i saw the news there, the posters tended towards "sell-out" rather than "keen business decision"

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Re: Bargain

a news letter full of factual content with regular readers numbering in the single digit millions.

... not to mention the (tens of?) millions of pounds in affiliate fees every year, of which well over half come from the company which has just bought the site.

So MoneySupermarket make a huge saving as they no longer have to pay a cut of their profits to MoneySavingExpert, and they get a brand new revenue stream in the form of all the other affiliate cash the site brings in.

Of course the deal will be dwarfed by the one I make in a few years when I sell my next startup, comparethecomparisonsites.com.

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IT Angle

Independence

Hopefully MSE will retain its objectivity. Although as that's pretty much the main feature of the site MoneySupermarket would have to be complete and utter idiots to interfere too much editorially.

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IT Angle

Re: Independence

A company buying out another company and then slowly interfering with it making it a shadow of its former self?

No, that never happens.

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Mushroom

Re: Independence

Nope, and that's definitely not what happened to TechCrunch when it was absorbed into AOL and Michael Arrington left...

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Re: Independence

According to reports at the time, from Martin Lewis himself, the contract stipulates that moneysupermarket arent allowed to get involved in the editorial process. So should be fine. And for the first 3.5 years Martin Lewis is contracted to be affiliated with the site, but a clause in his own contract states that if editorial is messed with he can walk away - they wont want him not involved in the site as if he goes and sets up another site, the entire user base would go with him.

Staggered though that this has taken the best part of a week to become newsworthy. At the time the news breaks, its either news the readership is interested in, or it isnt. Dont throw us week old leftovers in the hope we wont have read it elsewhere already.

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Unhappy

Re: Independence

If anyone is interested in the often virulent responses of many users on the MSE forum thread discussing this sellout (oops, takeover) take 20-or-so minutes looking through http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=53495201#post53495201 .

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Re: Independence

I cant understand all the outrage. yes, the guy provides trusted service, but he's just like anyone else really - an opportunity came up to make him a very wealthy man just at the time when his wife is expecting their first child. Of course you're going to accept it.

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Facepalm

Breaking News from June the 1st.

El Reg bringing you breaking news from last Tuesday, today.

Next they'll be publishing random speculation about Sinclair's new colour micro as news.......

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Facepalm

Re: Breaking News from June the 1st.

I was thinking much the same - that I'd read this in the national Press last week.

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Pint

Re: Breaking News from June the 1st.

Probably too much celebrating by the staff over the double bank holiday...

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Coat

Hey El Reg, last week called and was wondering what you had planned for the Jubilee?

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MoneyMakingExpert.com

That's one heck of a sum and I'm glad to see that the money going to charity is a substantial %.

I really hope Martin not only keeps out their interference but himself can care so much about the few pounds we can save with his advice when he himself will be so spectacularly rich.

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Headmaster

Re: MoneyMakingExpert.com

He'll still be good for advice. Some of the richest people I've met have also been the tightest. You don't get rich by squandering it all you know.

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FAIL

Who needs journalists

When you can read last weeks news and then get you national minimum wage youths to retype it?

C'mon Reg - you're no longer biting the hand!

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Paris Hilton

Re: Who needs journalists

Let's see how long it takes for El Reg to pick up the LinkedIn story...

*tick-tock* Paris is awaiting the news.

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Joke

With that much in the bank

I wonder if he'll now setup MoneySpendingExpert ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: With that much in the bank

No ... he'll start a new section on how to save on your tax bill by making large donations to charity!

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Re: With that much in the bank

He's already said he has never covered anything much to do with investments etc beyond the obvious "dont keep all your cash with one banking institution as its not all insured" type advice. Now he will have to learn more about investments himself, so will pass on what he learns for those who are interested in savings, rather than just saving a few quid on a day at the zoo, etc.

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Linux

Re: With that much in the bank

"rather than just saving a few quid on a day at the zoo, etc."

To save money at the Zoo:

1) Get your season pass in the name of Dr. <$YourName>

2) Enter Zoo.

3 )Hand your pass to your partner through the fence

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all of your party is inside.

5) Profit!

6) See Penguins.

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@Andrew James

You make an interesting and valid point, so far he has been the champion of the consumer as that's what he has been, but now he has some 'real' money he's going to see another side of the banks and investment industry, which hopefully he'll use it to his advantage and do some investigating and reporting.

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Re: With that much in the bank

Have an annual pass at Chester Zoo.

1. They have your photo on the pass, which is compared to your face, and an on screen picture when they scan it at the gate.

2. I look nothing much like my wife or my 4 year old daughter.

3. They recently redesigned the entrance so you show your pass at a turnstile within the park, tehre is no way to hand the pass back through again - unless you vault over into the elephant enclosure and throw it over the wall ... and then get an elephant to lift you back out again.

Seems a lot of effort. Might be easier to keep an eye on the weekly email for promotional codes.

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Re: With that much in the bank

humour US, humor [ˈhjuːmə]

n

1. the quality of being funny

2. Also called sense of humour the ability to appreciate or express that which is humorous

3. situations, speech, or writings that are thought to be humorous

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Re: With that much in the bank @Andrew James

"2. I look nothing much like my wife "

Well a certain zoo does not have photo ID and if the pass has Dr. A. James on it, your wife can take your daughter on the days that you cannot..

Not a lot of effort involved.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: With that much in the bank

Have annual pass at Bristol Zoo. They've never updated photos so my 12 year-old son now looks nothing like he did when he was 4!

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Holmes

Is he going to invest his £87m in one of those Icelandic banks that he recommended?

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