Bankrate Files for IPO of Up to $500M

Bankrate Inc, a publisher of various web content on personal finance, has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of up to $500 million on Friday.

North Palm Beach, Florida-based Bankrate runs various personal finance websites, including its flagship, collecting and publishing rates and other financial data in areas including mortgages, car loans, banking fees and retirement savings.

The company plans to use IPO proceeds to pay down debt.

Bankrate started as a "Bank Rate Monitor" newsletter in 1976, shifting onto the web in 1996, according to the website. In 2009, Bankrate was acquired by Ben Holding S.a.r.l. through a fund affiliated with a private equity firm Apax Partners LP [APAX.UL].

After posting a profit of $20 million in 2009, the company has operated at a loss in the past two years. It reported a loss of $43 million in 2009 and of $39 million in 2010, according to the filing.

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and JPMorgan are leading underwriters on the IPO.

Bankrate has not yet picked a symbol or a stock exchange to list its shares and provided no further details of the IPO.