Yacktman Asset Management Acquires 220,000 Shares in Spark Networks

A number of investors have changed their positions in Spark Networks in recent weeks, most notably Yacktman Asset Management LP.

The Austin-based boutique investment advisory firm has acquired 220,000 shares of the dating company, which is parent to Elite Singles, Jdate, Christian Mingle and Attractive World. The transaction is valued at over $1.2 million.

Canaan Partners VIII LLC made a significant move previously, buying up more than $22,500,000 worth of shares in Q3. Gabelli Funds LLC also acquired shares during the quarter, spending around $55,000.

Spark Networks is up 7% over the past 7 days, reaching $5.65 per share at the time of writing.

The company is still down significantly on its 12-month high, however. Shares were priced at $16.62 on 27th March, immediately after CEO Jeronimo Folgeuira announced the $250+ million acquisition of Zoosk.

Following the transition to a lower market cap, Spark addressed the falling share price in a letter to investors. It argued that “concentrated” investor sales were responsible for the change in value, rather than underperformance on the part of the company.

A spokesperson said in the letter: “With meaningful market share in the US and Europe, experience successfully integrating acquisitions, and the know-how to launch differentiated new brands, we have the scale, the technological platform, and the experience to capitalize upon the opportunity at hand. 

A number of analysts have since given Spark a “buy” rating. In a recent research report, Canaccord Genuity set an $18.00 target for the Berlin-based team. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Spark from a “sell” to a “hold” in late October.

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Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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