Contributed by: ElyseRomano Saturday, June 03 2017 @ 07:40 am
Spark Networks and Affinitas GmbH have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in a stock-for-stock merger. The merger will bring together leading global brands like JDate, ChristianMingle, EliteSingles, and eDarling to cater to a broad spectrum of users with a presence in 26 countries, creating a more diverse and balanced footprint.
With nearly 500,000 period-ending subscribers and over $115 million in revenue for the twelve months ended March 31, 2017, the combined company would be one of the world's largest online dating providers on a pro forma basis.
The transaction has been approved by Spark's Board of Directors and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017. The combined company will be named Spark Networks SE and will be headquartered in Berlin, Germany, while maintaining a significant U.S. presence with offices in New York City and Lehi, Utah.
Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of EliteSingles, will serve as Chief Executive Officer and Robert O'Hare, Spark's Chief Financial Officer, will continue in that role with the combined company. Michael Schrezenmaier, Managing Director of EliteSingles, will become Chief Operating Officer.
EliteSingles shareholders will own approximately 75% of the combined company and Spark shareholders will own approximately 25%. The new public entity is expected to be listed on the NYSE MKT exchange through an American Depositary Receipt ("ADR").
Spark Networks SE will be well-positioned to invest in new technologies and leverage both the EliteSingles and Spark technology platforms to deliver an enhanced customer experience, increase brand awareness through expanded marketing, and pursue growth opportunities.
Danny Rosenthal, Spark's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are thrilled to be combining with such a natural partner. The scale, data analytics, and significant operating expertise that EliteSingles brings will enhance our existing brand portfolio. Together, we will be a global leader in online dating, with the opportunity to drive growth across our entire platform."
"We have a clear vision of becoming the global leader in premium dating and this transaction is an important step towards that goal," said Jeronimo Folgueira, Chief Executive Officer of EliteSingles. "By combining the market leader in religious dating with EliteSingles' portfolio of strong brands, we will create a singular entity, well-positioned to benefit from increased scale and improved financial strength. Together, we will leverage the strengths of each company to provide an exceptional user experience and drive shareholder value."
On a projected 2018 basis, the combined company is expected to generate between $118 - $122 million in revenue and between $18 - $22 million in Adjusted EBITDA, driven by incremental revenue growth and identified cost savings.