Penthouse CEO: AFF Acquisition Is Part of 'Rolling Up Industry'

BOCA RATON, Fla. — In an interview Wednesday, Penthouse Media Group CEO Marc Bell told XBIZ that his company’s acquisition of Various Inc., the company that owns and operates AdultFriendFinder.com, was a part of a continuing strategy of “rolling up the industry” and making key acquisitions to expand the company’s online presence.

“They were the biggest adult social networking site out there and acquiring [AFF] immediately puts us in the position of being the leader in that market,” Bell said. “We’re going to continue to build on what they have established.”

Bell told XBIZ that the company has no major changes in mind for AFF or its affiliate program. “If it’s not broke, why fix it?” Bell said.

Asked about controversies surrounding AFF — like the company’s use of Zango for promotion of its site and the recent settlement with the FTC — Bell downplayed the significance of those, calling them “minor bumps in the road.”

“The FTC thing was about their affiliates and not about [AFF],” Bell said. “That was all dealt with long ago, and we’re not worried about it at all.”

Going forward, Bell said that the transition will be “totally seamless” for AFF affiliates.

“If anything, they’re just getting more products to sell,” Bell said. “We’re very excited about working with [the affiliates], and we look forward to building on the already solid program that is in place.”

While Penthouse may be confronting a learning curve where the adult social networking market is concerned, Bell said he’s confident that the company is already sufficiently versed in the space.

“We’re completely prepared,” Bell said. “I’m very confident that we have the right people in place, and we’ve got the whole thing down.”

Penthouse’s acquisition of Various had been circulating as a rumor for several weeks prior to this morning’s announcement confirming the acquisition. According to that release, the acquisition of Various makes Penthouse the world’s largest adult entertainment company.