Monday, April 22, 2013
IAC to acquire PlentyOfFish Media ... soon ???
It is said a 2 years long negotiations will end soon.
The main obstacle is the price.
The owners of PlentyOfFish Media's sites (PlentyOfFish, eVow and several dating sites powered by a white label dating company) think its company is worth USD 1.0B (USD 1,000,000,000) but the IAC does not want to pay more than USD120 Million (a 3X Revenue)
The best timing to sell your online dating company is when you do not need to, when it is a healthy ship and not when the owner/CEO is simply jumping from a sinking ship. If the owners of PlentyOfFish can not innovate in the Online Dating Industry, the best strategy for them is to sell PlentyOfFish.
The IAC (InterActiveCorporation, nasdaq: IACI) previously tried to acquire eHarmony for USD500 Million during November 2011, but failed.
Free/freemium online dating sites like PlentyOfFish and OKCupid are only marketing tools useful to send prospective customers to paid online dating sites like Chemistry and eHarmony.
When free users got tired of free sites, they migrate to a paid one.
Revenue of IAC Personals (Match, Chemistry, OKCupid, Meetic, ParPerfeito, MeeticAffinity, SinglesNet, People's Media Communities, DateHookUp and others) is in the range of USD750 million.
Revenue of eHarmony' sites (USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Brazil) is in the range of USD250 million.
Revenue of IAC Personals + Revenue of eHarmony' sites == USD1,000 Million == USD1B
Revenue of PlentyOfFish Media's sites (PlentyOfFish, eVow and several dating sites powered by a white label dating company) is in the range of USD40 million.
USD40million / USD1,000 Million == 4% of market (in revenue).
PlentyOfFish has the traffic but others receive the money.
PlentyOfFish tried to be the next free eHarmony and failed.
The owners of PlentyOfFish tried to launch a paid online dating site inside PlentyOfFish and failed.
They also failed with the PlentyOfFish Marriage Predictor.
And then failed again with eVow, a paid online dating site, but with less quality than PlentyOfFish. It is funny eHarmony, a paid site, had launched a free online dating proposal (Jazzed, failed) nearly at the same time PlentyofFish, a free site, had launched its paid proposal, eVow. Both eHarmony and PlentyOfFish had failed in launching other proposals to complement their long time strategy.
The real secret of PlentyOfFish is: it needs to show ads mainly from online paid sites, then send prospective customers there and receive commissions when they acquire a paid membership.
PlentyOfFish had reached operating ceiling where it operates, mainly in Canada, United Kingdom, United States and Ireland, less in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
I always thought the IAC could be more interesting in destroying PlentyOfFish than to acquire it (although every time the IAC acquires a site, it destroys it), because with USD10 Million they can develop a new compatibility matching site to replace Chemistry, a 8 years old obsolete site.