A Citigroup investment subsidiary has acquired Network Communications Inc., a leading publisher of local residential real estate advertising. The terms of the acquisition were not announced.

Citigroup Venture Capital Equity Partners LP, a private equity fund, announced the acquisition this month. Network Communications publishes about 500 real estate-related magazines in the United States and Canada, distributing about 12 million magazines each month in about 550 markets.

Its publications include The Real Estate Book, New Home Finder, Apartment Blue Book, Apartment Finder, Mature Living Choices and Unique Homes, among others. The company is a former wholly owned subsidiary of Gallarus Media Holdings, Inc.

Gallarus Media Holdings Inc. and ABRY Partners LLC of Boston had earlier acquired Network Communications Inc. in 2002.

Network Communications also has a substantial online presence, partnering with Citysearch to build the LivingChoices.com real estate advertising site. Network Communications’ online sites draw 12 million unique visitors and provide more than 400 million listings each year, the company announced.

Network Communications’ CEO Dan McCarthy and other current managers will continue to operate the company, according to the announcement.

Ian Highet, a partner Citigroup Venture Capital, said in a statement, “The real estate advertising industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and NCI is a leader in this segment. Their dependable and recurring cash flow, proprietary distribution network, and established advertiser relationships make them an ideal stand-alone platform for both acquired and organic growth. We are excited to partner with Dan and his team to drive NCI to the next stage of its business evolution.”

He added, “We feel very fortunate to be in a market niche that has so much opportunity. Over the past three years, NCI has experienced record growth, demonstrating the effectiveness of our lead-generating business model in the residential real estate and multi-family housing markets. CVC’s partnership will enhance our ability to grow our market focus through expansion and acquisition.”

Citigroup Venture Capital is one of the world’s oldest and largest private equity firms, managing $2.6 billion in private equity partnerships with major institutional investors and its parent company, Citigroup. Founded in 1968, CVC has been a lead investor in about 200 transactions over the past 20 years, including numerous IPOs for a range of industries.

In 2003, Network Communications settled a lawsuit relating to the misuse of real estate listings data that had originally appeared in The Real Estate Book.

Citigroup, the parent company of Citigroup Venture Capital, is a global financial services company that provides products and services to more than 120 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in over 100 countries. Its services include consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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