IAC-owned Match.com has set its sights on Europe’s largest dating site, Meetic.com. Match Match.com has put in a public tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Meetic for €15.00 per outstanding share in cash (that’s $21.42 in U.S. dollars). That’s a 11.6 percent increase in value from the closing price of Meetic shares on May 27, 2011 (€13.44) and values the company at nearly $500 million.
Match.com actually already owns approximately 27% of the outstanding shares of Meetic, which it obtained when it combined its European businesses with Meetic in 2009. Back then, IAC sold 100 percent of the stock of Match Europe – the entity that houses Match.com’s European operations – for an approximate 27 percent stake in Meetic, plus a 5 million euro note.
Marc Simoncini, Meetic’s founder and Chairman, 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 balance of his stake (approximately 1.6 million shares, representing approximately 7 percent of the total number of shares outstanding) and intends to remain on Meetic’s Board. The two companies say that Meetic’s executive committee supports the decision.
This would probably be one of the dating site’s largest acquisitions to date. Match just recently dropped $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 sees to be expand the company’s reach and revenue. The site is available in 16 European countries, in 13 languages. In 2010, Meetic posted total sales of $266 million, and has a market cap of $437 million. Match’s offer values the company at nearly $500 million. In comparison, Match.com’s core revenue came in at $93.3 million in first quarter 2011 (up 18 percent), and subscriber are up 22 percent.
Match says that it plans to file offer with the French Securities Regulator within two to three weeks. Match does not intend to de-list Meetic, which is listed in Compartment B of Euronext Paris of the NYSE Euronext, following completion of the tender offer.
Here’s a video of Simoncini speaking at LeWeb in 2008.