FriendFinder Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Penthouse Magazine has raised $551 million in funding. FriendFinder CEO Marc Bell said that they are preparing to launch 3 big initiatives. “We’re always looking to raise capital to grow the business,” stated Bell in an interview.
FriendFinder was founded in 1996 by Andrew Conru and the company is privately owned. It was bought my Penthouse Media Group in 2007 for $500 million. Penthouse later changed the name to FriendFinder Networks.
The FriendFinder network includes BigChurch.com, Amigos.com, AsiaFriendFinder.com, ItalianFriendFinder.com, FrenchFriendFinder.com, SeniorFriendFinder.com, and KoreanFriendFinder.com.
FriendFinder is also rumored to be interested in the acquisition of Playboy Enterprises Inc. Huge Hefner made an offer to take Playboy private for $185 million after hearing about the acquisition offer. FriendFinder offered to buy out Playboy for $210 million.
FriendFinder is based in Boca Raton, Florida and they operate over 30,000 websites. Earlier this year FriendFinder postponed an IPO that would have brought in as much as $200 million that would have helped pay down debt.
FriendFinder was carrying $471 million in debt as of September 2009. FriendFinder lost $27.4 million in the first 9 months of 2009. Bell said that FriendFinder will earn about $345 million in revenue with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $100 million.
[Wall Street Journal]