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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Allrecipes.com sold for $175 million, may expand

Seattle-based Allrecipes.com was sold for $175 million to publishing giant Meredith Corp., which could expand the thriving online food site.

The seller was Reader’s Digest Association, which bought Allrecipes in 2006 for $66 million as part of a push to broaden its online presence. The site was started by Web entreprenuer Tim Hunt in 1997 after he had trouble finding his favorite cookie recipe online.

Allrecipes prospered after is acquisition — employment tripled from 50 to around 150 and it’s now the top food site on the Web — but Reader’s Digest filed for banktrupcy in 2009.

As part of the reorganization, Reader’s Digest has been shopping Allrecipes around since October.

Meredith spokesman Patrick Taylor said Allrecipes will remain in Seattle.

“We’re not planning on making any changes,” he said.

The office could be expanded but Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith isn’t providing details yet. In its release, the company said it “plans to invest in Allrecipes.com to optimize the site for today’s growing online and mobile audiences.”

“We are hoping that as we create some synergies we can growth both our businesses,” Patrick said.

Allrecipes becomes the cornerstone of a recent effort by Meredith to “strengthen its position as the leader in the digital and food content marketplace,” the company said in a release.

Allrecipes will nearly double annual sales for Meredith Women’s Network and gives it an audience of 100 million American women. The combined sites will have almost 40 million monthly unique visitors.

Meredith also plans to apply Allrecipes’ search marketing expertise to the company’s other platforms.

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