Times Mirror buys service to aid apartment hunting Sun's owner is buying Minneapolis company

June 27, 1996|By Suzanne Wooton | Suzanne Wooton,SUN STAFF Bloomberg Business News contributed to this article.

Times Mirror Co. said yesterday that it will buy Apartment Search Inc., a Minneapolis-based company that charges landlords a fee to provide information on their properties to renters.

Apartment Search has operated in Baltimore since February, when The Baltimore Sun Co., owned by Times Mirror, formed a partnership with the company and agreed to help it expand its business here in exchange for a share of its revenue.

Apartment Search operates four offices in the Baltimore area and plans to open another, in Ellicott City, this summer.

The acquisition will give Times Mirror a broader base for earning money from apartment rental listings, and will provide Apartment Search with the opportunity to expand nationwide.

"Apartment Search provides a natural extension of our newspaper business," Mark Willes, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Times Mirror, said in a statement yesterday.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. A Times Mirror spokeswoman said the transaction probably will close in July. Top executives of Apartment Search are expected to remain with the company, Times Mirror said.

Apartment Search, a closely held company, has a database of 600,000 rental units, available through 37 offices in Baltimore; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Kansas City, Mo.; Detroit; and Washington, D.C. In 1996, the company anticipates serving 160,000 renters.

Apartment Search is expected to enter the Los Angeles market early next year. Times Mirror publishes the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Sun and several other publications.

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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