Dating website Match.com, an operating business of IAC, is to launch a voluntary public tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Meetic S.A. at a price of euro 15.00 per share in cash. The offer price represents a premium of approximately 11.6% on the closing price of Meetic shares on May 27, 2011.
Match.com owns approximately 27% of the outstanding shares of Meetic, which it obtained when it combined its European businesses with Meetic in 2009.
“Today we are announcing a big step forward in strengthening our partnership with Meetic and aligning the companies for even greater growth,” said Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC. “We believe people will increasingly meet online, and increasing our ownership stake allows us to leverage our commitments to product, marketing and technology innovation in the space across Europe. Meetic has done a fantastic job realizing the synergies from the 2009 merger, and now we believe we can apply the same lessons learned in revitalizing Match.com’s growth trajectory in the U.S. beginning in 2009.”
Marc Simoncini, Meetic’s founder and Chairman, has entered into a binding agreement to tender in the offer approximately 3.7 million shares, representing approximately 16% of the total number of shares outstanding. Mr. Simoncini will retain the balance of his stake (approximately 1.6 million shares, representing approximately 7% of the total number of shares outstanding) and intends to remain on Meetic’s Board.
Philippe Chainieux, Meetic Group’s Executive Vice President, said, “Meetic’s Executive Committee fully supports this transaction which, considering the globalization of the dating and matchmaking business, will offer Meetic new growth opportunities with the implementation of existing financial and industrial synergies between Match and Meetic.”
Match expects to file the public offer with the French Securities Regulator (Autorite des marches financiers) within two to three weeks. The offer will not be subject to a minimum tender condition.
Meetic is a French stock corporation, with its registered office in Paris. It’s online dating business is established in 16 European countries, and is available in 13 languages. In 2010, Meetic posted sales of euro 186.0mand an EBITDA margin of 20.6%. Meetic is listed in Compartment B of Euronext Paris of the NYSE Euronext. Match does not intend to de-list the Company following completion of the tender offer.
Match.com has experienced record growth over the last year. Core revenue increased 18% to $93.3 million in first quarter 2011, driven by a 22% increase in subscribers. Through its subsidiary Match Pegasus, Match owns approximately 6.1 million shares of Meetic, representing approximately 27% of Meetic’s outstanding shares. These shares were obtained in a 2009 transaction merging the European operations of Match.com and Meetic.
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