Cupid Sells 6 Adult Dating Sites for £45.1M

Rhett Pardon

LONDON — U.K.-based Cupid has agreed to sell its six adult dating sites to a company run by one of its founders in a deal worth £45.1 million ($68 million in U.S. dollars).

Cupid, a public company in the U.K., said the reason it is disposing of the websites is to disenfranchise itself away from anything to do with porn and focus on niche and mainstream sites.

"Casual dating can also lead into areas of adult content, which Cupid has tried to avoid," the company said in a statement to shareholders.

Cupid's adult dating sites division, passively described as its "casual dating" arm," includes CheekyLovers, BeNaughty, Flirt, WildBuddies, ClickAndFlirt and QuickFlirt. Each of the brands operate under and .com addresses.

The purchaser of the company's adult dating sites unit is Cupid co-founder and major shareholder Max Polyakov, who will acquire the set of sites operated under the Cyprus-based subsidiaries Yarra Ltd. and EZD Ltd. and group them within his Grendall Investment Ltd. umbrella.

Grendall, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands, owns a portfolio of online dating sites.

Cupid said that the six adult dating sites generated total sales of approximately £51.1 million in 2012.

Grendall will pay £14.6 million upfront and £28.5 million payable in monthly installments over a 40-month period for the adult dating site properties.

The deal also includes a separate software licensing agreement with Grendall worth £2 million over four years.

Edinburgh-based Cupid will continue Cupid, Amour, Yolo, UniformDating and Canoodle, as well as a handful of international sites. It also will continue to run dating events business site SpeedDater.

As part of the acquisition a number of staff will transfer to Grendall, primarily within the operational team in Ukraine, Cupid said.            

Cupid operates in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil and India.

The company, formerly known as EasyDate, changed its name to Cupid in January 2011.  

Cupid's share price climbed by more than 16.5 percent on Monday, closing at 84.5 pence a share.