The ongoing battle for ownership of Grindr has taken another turn, after Reuters discovered that San Vicente Acquisition LLC has “financial and personal links” to Kunlun Tech Group.
Last week, the US government approved the proposed $620 million deal, after previously ordering Kunlun to relinquish control due to national security concerns.
However, after reviewing confidential documents and interviewing two sources, Reuters published the details of the deal which could lead to Kunlun being penalised under US law.
So far it’s unclear whether or not the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) are concerned about the alleged connection.
Ding’an Fei, one of Kunlun’s most prominent financial advisors, has previously served on Grindr’s board. He was a senior executive at Duo Capital, an investment fund that was initially interested in acquiring the gay dating app following the CFIUS instructions.
Duo Capital’s senior team also comprised of James Lu and George Raymond Zage, who are now two of San Vicente’s main owners. They are joined by Michael Gearon, co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks.
There are also claims that Kunlun has deferred 40% of San Vicente’s payments for up to three years, an option that didn’t appear to be offered to other interested parties.
A Grindr spokesperson assured Reuters that all bidders, including Bending Spoons and Catapult Capital LLC, were considered on a level playing field.
They said: “The buyers for Grindr were selected after an extensive and unbiased bidding process that complied fully with all applicable regulations, as the receipt of all necessary approvals – including CFIUS – demonstrates.”
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