IAC’s Match.com wants to acquire European online dating site Meetic – TechCrunch


Match.com, owned by IAC, has set its sights on Europe’s largest dating site, Meetic.com. Match Match.com has launched a takeover bid to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Meetic for € 15.00 per outstanding share in cash (or $ 21.42 in US dollars). This is an 11.6% increase in value compared to the closing price of the Meetic share on May 27, 2011 (€ 13.44) and values ​​the company at nearly $ 500 million.

Match.com already owns around 27% of the outstanding shares of Meetic, which it obtained through the merger of its European activities with Meetic in 2009. At the time, IAC sold 100% of the shares of Match Europe – the entity that houses Match. com’s European operations – for an approximate 27% stake in Meetic, plus a 5 million euro note.

Marc Simoncini, founder and chairman of Meetic, has agreed to offer Match.com approximately 3.7 million shares, representing approximately 16% of the total number of shares outstanding. Simoncini will retain the remainder of its stake (around 1.6 million shares, or around 7% of the total number of outstanding shares) and intends to remain on the board of directors of Meetic. Both companies say Meetic’s executive committee supports the decision.

It would likely be one of the dating site’s biggest acquisitions to date. Match just lost $ 50 million to acquire online dating site OKCupid. And the company bought People Media for $ 80 million in 2009.

So why does Match want Meetic? On paper, the site aims to expand the reach and revenue of the business. The site is available in 16 European countries, in 13 languages. In 2010, Meetic achieved total sales of $ 266 million and a market capitalization of $ 437 million. Match’s offer values ​​the company at nearly $ 500 million. By comparison, Match.com’s core revenue was $ 93.3 million in the first quarter of 2011 (up 18%) and the number of subscribers is up 22%.

Match says it plans to file an offer with the French Financial Markets Authority within two to three weeks. Match does not intend to delist Meetic, which is listed on compartment B of Euronext Paris from NYSE Euronext, following the takeover bid.

Here is a video of Simoncini speaking to LeWeb in 2008.

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