FriendFinder on Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing List

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Inc. magazine on Wednesday picked FriendFinder Networks as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.

FriendFinder, which operates the Adult FriendFinder network as well as about two dozen more networking sites, also owns Penthouse Media Group Inc.

Inc., in its third annual fastest-growing list, ranked FriendFinder first among magazine publishers, third in the media category and No. 210 overall.

Between 2005 and 2008, FriendFinder saw revenue grow $31 million to $331 million — nearly 1,000 percent. The company applied for an IPO late last year but has yet to launch it.

FriendFinder CEO Marc Bell told XBIZ late Wednesday that he was “very happy” about Inc.’s decision about naming FriendFinder to the list, but he could not elaborate on the company’s proposed initial public offering because the company is in a “quiet period” imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Companies on the 2009 Inc. 5000 must be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies — and must have had at least $200,000 in revenue in 2005 and at least $2 million in revenue in 2008.

The second fastest-growing magazine publisher on Inc.’s list is regional publisher 944 Media, which saw revenue grow 380 percent to $13.4 million during the period. 944 publishes magazines in Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Orange County. 944 acquired the assets of monthly culture and style title Six Degrees earlier this year.

Inc.’s full list of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. is available here.