The following press release is from brightsolid.
BRIGHTSOLID ACQUIRES FRIENDS REUNITED GROUP
brightsolid today announced it is to acquire Friends Reunited Group from ITV plc for £25 million. The completion of the deal is subject to clearance by the competition authorities.
brightsolid is a fast growing online innovation business owned by DC Thomson, one of the largest privately owned media and publishing groups in the country. A key part of brightsolid's strategy is building businesses that link "people and places" on the internet.
Friends Reunited is the original social network with 20.6 million members. It was launched in 2000 to put old school friends back in touch with each other and swiftly became a British media phenomenon. Sister site Genes Reunited was launched in 2003 and is currently the UK's largest family history website with over 9 million members worldwide and 650 million names listed. Together with Friends Reunited Dating, the group attracts three million unique users per month.
The acquisition of Friends Reunited Group would create Britain's leading genealogy business by bringing together Genes Reunited and findmypast.com (which operate the official 1901 and 1911 Census websites respectively in association with The National Archives) and ScotlandsPeople in partnership with General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Chris van der Kuyl, CEO brightsolid, said: "We see the acquisition of Friends Reunited Group as an exciting opportunity to provide new focus for and build on the iconic status of the Friends Reunited brands. Between them these brands attract over three million unique users per month. This also marks another step forward in the future strategy of brightsolid, widening its offering to the consumer marketplace, in particular by creating Britain's leading genealogy business."
Andy Baker, MD Friends Reunited adds: "We are delighted that brightsolid can see the great value and future potential in the Friends Reunited Group. brightsolid is an innovative online group and by bringing our companies together this way we can build the Friends Reunited business to offer something new and different to our customers. We look forward to working with Chris and the team to develop the business further."
brightsolid is led by digital media entrepreneur CEO Chris van der Kuyl, who joined in October 2007. The broad reach of its online innovation means The Friends Reunited Group will also benefit from brightsolid's resilient data centre and managed hosting services.
brightsolid was advised by HMT Corporate Finance on this transaction and Macfarlanes provided the legal services.