Paris (PRWEB) January 10, 2007
MEETIC, the European leader in online dating, today announces the signing of an agreement with a view to acquiring DatingDirect, the historic leader in online dating in the United Kingdom. This operation should be finalised during January 2007, once the remaining conditions precedent have been lifted.
With this acquisition, the Group will acquire a prominent position on the last remaining major European market on which it was not yet present, thus becoming a leader in all of these European countries.
Founded in 1999, the DatingDirect (http://www.datingdirect.com) website has 4.5 million members (3.5 million of which are in the UK). With 1.652 million Unique Visitors (source: Comscore - November 2006), it is the online dating n°1 in the UK, with three times more traffic than match.com its nearest American rival.
DatingDirect recorded estimated 2006 turnover of £11 million.
Within the framework of the agreement signed with DatingDirect, Meetic has also signed an agreement pertaining to the acquisition, from the same shareholders, of the Chemistry company that organises live dating-related singles events in the UK.
Marc Simoncini, MEETIC's CEO and founder, says: "With the United Kingdom clearly presented as a key country regarding the carrying out of our strategy of strengthening our European leadership, the acquisition of DatingDirect will henceforth enable us to play a major role on the British market, one of the most expensive in the world in terms of media purchasing, without having to launch a major marketing campaign to impose a new brand."
The acquisition of the DatingDirect online dating site is perfectly in line with the selective acquisition strategy implemented by the Group since its IPO:
- Brand with substantial renown
- Top audience for dating sites on its territory: the UK
- 70 000 clients at 31st December 2006
- 4.5 million members, 3.5 million of them in the UK
- Major marketing partnerships: AOL, Channel4.com, HeartFM.co.uk, iVillage.co.uk, NTL, Tiscali…
The acquisition of DatingDirect and Chemistry, for £27.3 million, will be carried out entirely in cash once the operation is finalised.
Marc Simoncini concludes: "Prior to the acquisition of DatingDirect, Meetic already had European traffic that was two and a half times that of its American rival. This gap will now be significantly larger with the integration of DatingDirect and Chemistry's traffic. Thanks to this acquisition, in less than five years we will thus have conquered the number 1 position on most of the international markets on which we operate, and will now be able to activate the second phase of our development plan by maximising our business model leverage. The optimisation of our European traffic, combined with the new offers that will be deployed simultaneously with the new 2.0 version of Meetic, should enable us to increase, from 2007, our sources of revenue and hence increase our investment possibilities in new countries or on new continents where we do not yet have a presence."
2006 annual turnover will be published on February 13th 2007, after market.
About MEETIC, the European online dating leader (http://www.meetic-corp.com)
Four years after its commercial launch, MEETIC manages seven products (Meetic, Meetic Mobile, Ulteem, Superlol, Lexa, ParPerfeito and eFriendsNet) and markets two highly complementary economic models in the dating market, one for use on the internet, the other for mobile phones. MEETIC is the undisputed leader on the European online dating market with 25.4 million profiles registered on the Meetic site alone since its creation and the largest European audience share* with 19,49% in November 2006 (source: Nielsen/NetRatings) and 6.4 million unique visitors in November 2006 (source: Comscore). MEETIC is established in 14 European countries, China and Brazil, and available in 12 languages. From inception the group has pursued a clear leadership strategy focusing on quality, innovative marketing and perfect technological expertise. MEETIC works hard to optimise service quality and to satisfy every possible expectation of its European subscribers. In 2005, MEETIC posted sales of €43m and net profit of €5.7m.