Match.com Sells EU Business to Meetic

Meetic
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In a really surprising move (at least IMO), Match.com has sold 100 percent of their European operations to Meetic for approximately a 27 percent share in the company. Match.com will also get a 5 million euro note plus some additional terms which has not been released. Over the last several years it has been a battle between these two companies for the European online dating market. It looks like instead of trying to beat their competition, Meetic decided to buy them out and give Match an offer that was too good to refuse. Of course, with a 27 percent share in Meetic, Match.com will still have influence in online dating in Europe.

While Match.com tends to make more partnerships with companies to increase their market share internationally, Meetic tends to buy out their competition. Currently Meetic manages ten services, including Meetic, Meetic Mobile, Meetic Affinity, Lexa, ParPerfeito, DatingDirect, Neu.de, Cleargay, Partner.de and Lexamore. According to TechCrunch:

... Meetic had revenues of 153,7 million euros (close to $195 million) in 2008 and currently counts over 696,400 registered users. The company is public and listed on NYSE Euronext, currently valued at nearly 228 million euro ($289 million).

Meanwhile because of this deal, Match.com will go from having operations in 40 countries down to 24. The countries with operations now include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Venezuela and Vietnam. As a comparison to the Meetic numbers in the above paragraph, in 2008 Match.com had revenues of $368.8 million with 1,347,300 paid members in Q4, 2008. It will be interesting to see the number of paid members reported once the European operations have been removed. Currently 13 percent of revenues come from Europe.

The partnership between Meetic and Match.com will take several months to complete. At this moment it is unknown how this may affect members at Match.com European dating sites.

On a last note, I have to say that I am still surprised by this move from Match.com. We just did a story earlier this month which showed that Match.com UK memberships rose 26 percent in January.