Spark Networks, umbrella to dating brands including Christian Mingle, Jdate and Elite Singles, has announced an agreement to acquire 100% of Zoosk.
The deal is reportedly worth $255 million, breaking down into $150 million in American Depositary Shares, $95 million net cash consideration for Zoosk shareholders and a $10 million deferred cash payment.
It is likely to close early in Q3 2019, provided Spark shareholders consent to the move (a formality – over 75% have already committed their support).
Once the transaction has been confirmed, Spark will appoint Steven McArthur, Zoosk’s CEO and Deepak Kamra, General Partner at Canaan Partners (Zoosk’s largest shareholder), to its Board of Directors.
Jeronimo Folgueira, CEO of Spark Networks, said: “Zoosk is one of the strongest dating apps in the North American market, which comprises half of the $5 billion global online dating opportunity.
“Similarly, North America has been a key strategic market for Spark, and the focal point for our growth initiatives. Our deal with Zoosk creates the second largest online dating platform in North America and the second largest publicly-listed dating company in the world.
“Over the past 18 months, our management team has successfully integrated acquisitions and developed new brands. As a result of these efforts, our brand portfolio now includes SilverSingles, which continues to exceed our expectations, and the Christian Mingle, Jdate and JSwipe brands, which have all shown significant improvement since they were acquired in late 2017.
“Our acquisition of Zoosk is the most transformative deal in our history, and we expect the transaction to immediately strengthen our position in the online dating market. With the increased scale that results from the combination, we see a clear path to profitability improvements and greater opportunity to invest in innovation and growth initiatives that will drive shareholder value.”
McArthur, Zoosk’s CEO, added: “We are excited to help create such a broad and powerful portfolio of brands that will address specific user needs in the dating market globally, while leveraging the best of both companies to create a world-class platform to serve customers across these brands.”
Around two-thirds of the group’s revenues will be earned in North America, though the company will still be based in Berlin. Executives hope the acquisition can take Spark’s number of monthly paid users to over 1 million.
Spark Networks has now set a target of over $50 million in Adjusted EBITDA for 2020. Its share price jumped around 10% after hours, from $11.90 to $13.00 at the time of writing.
Read more here.
Spark Networks SE will host a conference call at 8:00 AM Pacific Time (11:00 AM Eastern Time), on Friday March 22, 2019 to discuss the transaction. Following the prepared remarks, the call will include a question-and-answer session.
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Spark Networks will also host a webcast of the call, which will be accessible in the Investor Relations section of Spark Networks website at https://www.spark.net/investor-relations/home.
A replay will be available approximately three hours after completion of the call, and will run until April 5, 2019.
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