Spark Networks SE closes its $258M acquisition of dating brand Zoosk

TechCrunch | 6/28/2019 | Staff
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Berlin-based Spark Networks, the owner of niche dating app brands like Christian Mingle, Jdate, LDSsingles, Silver Singles, Jswipe, and others, today announced it has acquired competitor Zoosk for a combination of cash and stock. The deal values Zoosk at approximately $258 million.

Spark says it will issue 12,980,000 American Depositary Shares (ADS) to former Zoosk shareholders valued at $153 million based on the closing price of Spark ADSs of $11.78 on June 28, 2019. The deal also provides for cash consideration of $105 million, subject to adjustment, which will be funded by a new $125 million senior secured credit facility, the company says in a release.

Jeronimo - Folgueira - Right - CEO - Spark

Jeronimo Folgueira (right), CEO of Spark Networks, confirms the acquisition with Steven McArthur (left), outgoing CEO of Zoosk, Inc.

Plans for the deal were previously announced.

Closing - Merger - Spark - Shares - ADSs

Following the closing of the merger, Spark has 2,601,037 ordinary shares issued and outstanding underlying 26,010,365 ADSs, with former Zoosk shareholders collectively owning 49.9% of the combined company.

The Zoosk app, available in over 80 countries, is a free download but charges users who want to send messages and chat with other subscribers, similar to Match.

Zoosk - Time - Match - Group - Dating

Zoosk has for a long time struggled to compete against Match Group and its top-ranking dating apps in the U.S., led by Tinder. A few years ago, the company laid off a third of its staff and even had to call off its IPO, as Tinder decimated its business.

Today, it lists itself in the App Store’s “Social Networking” category instead of “Lifestyle,” where Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and others rank, in an effort to gain more visibility.

Data - Sensor - Tower - Zoosk - Revenue

According to data from Sensor Tower, Zoosk has generated worldwide in-app revenue of $250 million and has seen 38 million downloads since January 2014. Half of those downloads (19M) are from the U.S., which also accounts for $165 million (66%) of the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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