In an astonishing move, The Match Group is buying Plenty of Fish for a whopping $575m.
The IAC-owned group, which is planning to IPO later this year, announced the acquisition today.
The company said it has entered a “definitive agreement” to purchase Plenty of Fish, which is the largest free dating site the world.
The CEO of The Match Group, Sam Yagan said: “For over a decade I have followed the consistent growth of PlentyOfFish, first within North America, then globally, and most recently across platforms, as one of the most popular mobile dating products in the world.
“As more people than ever use more dating apps than ever with more frequency than ever, PlentyOfFish’s addition both brings new members into our family of products and deepens the lifetime relationship we have with our users across our portfolio. I look forward to working closely with Markus and extending the company’s impressive growth trajectory.”
Markus Frind, who founded the site back in 2003, said they were “thrilled to be joining forces with Match.”
The 36-year-old said: “My team and I have grown PlentyOfFish into one of the leaders in our category, and I am confident that Match will help accelerate our growth even further.”
The Match Group said they expect to close the deal in the fourth quarter, and the deal is subject to the receipt of the approval from the Minister of Industry pursuant to the Investment Canada Act.
The Match Group has made some big acquisitions in the dating space – including OkCupid for $50m in 2011 – but none as big as this massive $575m deal for Plenty of Fish.
With this acquisition, The Match Group is the undisputed leader in online dating, owning almost all the biggest brands in the industry: Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder and now Plenty of Fish.
For Plenty of Fish and Markus Frind, this is an incredible buyout for a company that he started and bootstrapped himself over 10 years ago.
More on the story as it breaks.