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MoneySupermarket.com to buy MoneySavingExpert for £87m

Martin Lewis 150x125

Price comparison site MoneySupermarket.com is set to acquire MoneySavingExpert for £87m.

MoneySavingExpert was established in 2003 by personal finance journalist Martin Lewis.

Lewis will become an employee of the MoneySupermarket.com group once the deal is completed and will be editor-in-chief of MoneySavingExpert.

A £35m upfront cash payment will be made as part of the deal alongside approximately 22.1m MoneySupermarket.com shares. There is also a deferred consideration of up to £27m subject to performance.

The deal is set to be concluded in September or October and is subject to MoneySupermarket.com shareholder approval.

The MoneySavingExpert website offers free online services and editorial on credit cards and loans, shopping, deals and vouchers, utilities and phones, banking and saving, travel and motoring, insurance, mortgages and homes, and income and family.

MoneySupermarket is a price comparison website which covers the likes of mortgages, credit cards and loans.

Lewis says the deal will see MoneySavingExpert retain its editorial independence. Lewis will be giving £10m to charity including £1m to Citizens Advice.

MoneySupermarket Group chief executive Peter Plumb says: “We’ve worked closely together for years with the common goal of helping customers save money. By joining forces we can get more people to save more money.

“We’ll help MoneySavingExpert.com reach a wider audience and MoneySavingExpert.com will broaden the range of advice and tools we offer, encouraging even more people to take action, tap into the benefits of the internet to find a better deal and make the most of their money.”

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Comments

There are 19 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So, it’ll no longer be impartial, and will all be driven by profit – I sincerely hope that people leave it in droves. It needs someone to set up another site now, which will remain impartial and not sell it’s soul to the corporates for mega bucks. I dont suppose Martin Lewis will be sharing any of the millions with the people whose trust he’s exploited over the years to build this site.

  2. Does this make Mr Lewis the ultimate Money Making Expert?

    Who says you cannot make money out of personal finance online? Something for us all to aspire to I think.

  3. Not bad for a site which is promoted on television and in the media at any opportunity.

    I wonder if any of this consideration will be paid back to the TV companies?

  4. @anon – 9.33

    You sound very bitter to see someone else doing well. You must run a very small time business to take this attitude.

    Well done Martin. Good for you.

  5. Do they want to buy MAS too

    I do hope so I could do with a return on my money !!

  6. What a great shame. Shows Martin Lewis to be a fake after all these years. People hopefully leave this service

  7. I think this raises a really important question and that is should these sites be allowed to operate in the first place as Martin Lewis is always operated under journalistic principle, surely this proves that he was actually operating under commercial principle.

    Maybe the FSA would like to investigate whether Martin Lewis’s site has actually breached any of the Financial Services Marketing Act 2000 rules in respects to marketing products because in my opinion he has on several occasions.

    As for the BBC who helped him over the years promote his site how can they invite a financial expert on to comment about regulated products when he doesn’t actually hold any authorisation to do so. Surely that’s the job of a regulated individual or can any Tom Dick and Harry give advice as long they state that they are a journalist!!!!!

    I’m not bitter and twisted I just want a level playing field after all I like many financial advisers pay FSA and FSCS fees I wonder how many fees Martin Lewis has paid for money-saving expert.com

    I think the financial services industry is going to survive it really needs to start lobbying regulators to do something about this as it’s all costing us money either in regulator fees or deflecting attention from our own websites after all I don’t have the deep pockets of some of these unregulated sites as part of my turnover has to go towards paying fees are not marketing.

  8. Matthew Whiting 1st June 2012 at 10:36 am

    The moneysavingexpert site was NEVER impartial, it was always a commercial business and the best thing was that he managed to fool the BBC into giving him free advertising on the basis that he had some knowledge of something!
    And this is the site that kept banging on about banks and other financial companies making too much money!
    I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t make money, I just think he had double standards and has always been unhand about the way in which he makes the money.

  9. ML is the king of marketing. From a business perspective, Hats off to him, I respect what he has done i just do not agree with how he has done it!

    Just a shame that many of his marketing stunts impact other businesses ie; PPI; Yes many were missold but thousands who have claimed a refund were not. I forcast 10 years from now MSM will be claiming Mr Lewis missold them MSE and that they want a refund!

  10. If I bought MoneySavingExpert the first thing I would do is get rid of that egotistical publicity seeking clown Martin Lewis.

    It will never be independent, but on the up side at least they wil have to take some responsibility for the rather dubious ‘advice’ that the his site gives and it will now have to be properly regulated.

  11. I say well done to the guy. Making that amount of money without any regulatory risk and simply using his position as media figure to drive people onto his website. I struggle to see what he has done wrong or why the link with MSM will do anything other than prevent the current audience from opening a new page in the browser! I am sure that on analysis the majority of users who read Martin Lewis will immediately click to some form of aggregating/comparison site. Savvy buy if you ask me but does seem a high figure.

  12. If you thought Martin Lewis was completely impartial you are diluding yourself, the site charges to place links through to products, so with no payment, no feature and no link!

    It is funny how a jounalist site offering comparison of financial products does not fall under FSA rules of authorised persons though, I wish I as an IFA could just give my clients choices and let them make a decision without any come back, but the reality is, the minute I make a client aware of something I have to judge its suitability.

    People are wrong to think everything on the Money Saving Expert wesbite is ok, but that is the impression they have.

    You have to admire Martins business crudentials for building a very good business using various loopholes within the journalism of financial products whilst getting paid for the referals made to specific products.

    All said and done, congratulations to Martin and keep up the good work of promoting people to better their financial positions.

  13. In fairness to Lewis, he was always clear on his site about which businesses pay him for his site referrals. As I see it, he only recommended the best deals anyway, are there many examples of cases where he has claimed that the best / cheapest was ‘XYZ’ when in fact it was ‘ABC’?

  14. I agree with criticisms of the BBC but Lewis has backing from the very top – the BBC Trust that represents the interests of license fee payers.

    If you haven’t already, read the March issue of BBC Trust Editorial Standards Committee. It considered 13 complaints. Two were about its personal finance output. The ESC decided in both cases it did not even need to put viewers’ complaints – Paul Lewis Money Box and Martin Lewis Watchdog – to the Trust to consider.

    http://www.fifthdimension.com/news/as-mentioned-on-watchdog

    https://twitter.com/tribalthunder/status/58962398836563968

    ‘Big thanks go to Martin Lewis for plugging Kalixa.’

    Lewis had plugged prepaid cards on Watchdog inspite of the OFT already having payment practices and any loopholes that may come from taking out a prepaid card under review. Punters who took out a card recommended by Watchdog to avoid airline booking fees took out a dud when Ryanair announced it was no longer accepting them.

    If viewers took out either card named by Lewis on Watchdog via his website he earned a commission selling something that worked for arguably a forseeably short period given the OFT’s involvement for the purpose for which he introduced it.

    The head of editorial standards said there was no link between the programme and Lewis’ company.

    ‘there was no reference made to his website (though she noted that his onscreen label appeared as “Money Saving Expert” – with a gap between the words to differentiate it from the website’.

    Now you know to look at the spacing between the words and letters on the B B C before deciding whether to trust it.

  15. I’m pleased to see that so many people share the same opinion of the sham that is Martin Lewis. Fair play to the guy for making money and running a successful business but why pretend to be something you’re clearly not!

    At least this shows him to be the fake and fraudster that he always was. Surely there should be an investigation in to this transaction or is that not possible because he’s a ‘TV Personality’?

    Absolutely pathetic and a very sad sign of how the world of personal finance is changing, and not for the better. People are genuinely losing out an quality advice and a good service because of frauds like our friend Mr Lewis!

    And how pathetic that a token gesture of £10m to charity to help these people sleep at night. I’d rather have a small, successful and qualty lead business than sell my soul any day of the week!

  16. ML is as bad as witch magazine who raked in a cool £1.2 million under the guise of helping consumers get a better deal from their power supplier.
    Bunch of hypocrites.i

  17. Fully Informed 6th June 2012 at 10:06 am

    £10m a token gesture? Big token.. what do you do Don Sharpe?

  18. I’m rather surprised at the general negative attitude towards MSE. I think it’s done a lot for the average consumer and raised many issues on their behalf.

  19. Lewis Clamping 6th June 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Fair play to Martin Lewis. I suspect most of the bitterness and aggression towards him and the MSE site is borne out of jealousy. How many other IFA’s websites are worth £87m?
    An excellent example of affiliate marketing.

    Us IFAs could learn a huge amount from his marketing techniques.

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