Carlsquare begleitet Verkauf der OnlineLiebe GmbH an die börsennotierte cupid plc
24 Jun 2011
The two companies are run together by the same team in Munich, led by founder Andreas von Maltzan, who is recognised as one of the pioneers and leaders in the German dating market, having established Neu.de, Germany’s most popular dating site, which was sold to Meetic in 2007. Andreas has a track record of producing successful German online businesses and will continue to run the German sites, becoming a valuable addition to Cupid’s management team.
OnlineLiebe GmbH is a recently created niche online dating provider with sites such as Zuckerjungs.de, Zuckerdaddys.de, Gleicheliebe.de and Gayjz.de. Its leading site, Zuckerjungs.de, was founded last year and has already become the market leader in the ‘Cougar’ dating niche in Germany, as well as in Austria and Switzerland where the sites are called Zucker-burschen.at and Zuckerjungs.ch respectively.
WomenWeb GmbH is Germany’s largest online community network of female interest websites with domains such as Womenweb.de, Frauen.de, Kochrezepte.de, Allegraclub.de, Eso-teriktreff.de, Hochzeits-club.de and eight other portals. WomenWeb GmbH also provides online communities for a number of well-known German women’s magazines such as Petra, Fuersie, Vital, Plus-Magazin and Frau im Leben.
The acquisition will enable Cupid to combine its strength in online marketing with the existing local expertise of the Munich based team and the German billboard advertising strength of Stroer Out-of-Home Media AG to target rapid expansion in Germany.
The remaining 25% of the business is owned by a combination of Media Ventures GmbH, and Andreas von Maltzan.
Media Ventures GmbH, owned jointly by Dirk Stroer, of Deutsche-Boerse-listed Stroer Out-of-Home Media AG, has agreed to inject a multi-million Euro advertising budget into billboard advertising in Germany for the sites over the next three years.
The combined purchase price of €2.75m (£2.5m) for 75% of the equity of both companies will be paid within the next two weeks. A mechanism has been agreed to value both companies at 1.7 times revenues, should Cupid wish to purchase the remaining 25% of the equity in both companies. This option can be exercised by Cupid, at its sole discretion, between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2014.
The combined businesses delivered revenues of approximately €0.85m (£0.77m) in 2010 and a loss of €0.18m (£0.16m). The acquisition is expected to be earnings neutral in 2011 and earnings enhancing in its first full year.
Commenting on the acquisition, Bill Dobbie, Chief Executive of Cupid, said:
“This acquisition continues our stated strategy of international expansion and is an excellent opportunity for us to gain a foothold in the German-speaking markets. We are confident that we will be able to grow the newly acquired sites through our experience in the online dating market, coupled with the local knowledge of the existing teams and the added benefit of a sustained billboard advertising campaign that has been arranged as part of the transaction.”
Carlsquare initiated the transaction and advised the shareholders.
Carlsquare supports knowledge-based enterprises and their shareholders in questions concerning the sale of shares and endowment with equity capital, the optimization of corporate portfolios and other strategic capital transactions at partner and enterprise level. Assistance is also provided to VC/private equity investors in the analysis of potential investments or during the divestment of their portfolio companies.
In 2011 Carlsquare successfully completed already 11 transactions. Carlsquare is part of the international Globalscope M&A Partner network with 27 partners in Europe, USA and Asia.
Carlsquare – Corporate Finance
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