Spark Networks Delay Crunch Leadership Vote


Spark Networks have delayed the shareholder meeting that will decide the future leadership of the company.

The meeting will determine whether the Spark Networks board, or activist investor Osmium, will run the company.

Hedge fund Osmium own 14.1% of the company, and want to change leadership by filling four board seats with their own candidates.

If they gain control of the board, they will be able to take control of the company. 

The decision will go to a shareholder vote, the result of which will be announced at their annual shareholder meeting.

This was originally planned for the 17th June, but will now take place on the 28th.

The move of date is to “allow additional time for discussions with certain of the company’s stockholders”, which presumably means the current board trying to drum up last minute support.

Osmium launched their proxy battle in December 2013, saying that the board mismanaged dating brands like JDate and ChristianMingle.

Earlier in the year, Osmium said in a letter to shareholders:

“Since the current CEO was appointed President on June 15, 2006, Spark’s market capitalization has declined by 25%, its enterprise value per paid subscriber has dropped by 43.1% and the Company has registered an uninspiring 2.8% compounded annualized growth rate in paid subscribers. 

“These results stand in stark contrast to the industry. For example,’s subscriber base increased from 1.3 million subscribers in 2006 to 3.4 million in 2013, a 12.8% compounded annual growth rate off of a much higher base.”

The CEO of Spark Networks, Greg Liberman, disputes this and says they have a long term plan that will be hindered if Osmium take over.

The board say Liberman has overseen a 57% increase in the company’s stock price, and 64% increase in total paid subscribers.

The board said that the time period Osmium Partners presented offered a “highly inaccurate portrait of the company’s current leadership.”
The vote will now be taking place on the 28th June.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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