The £27 million sale of online dating agency DatingDirect.com to European market leader Meetic, for which Clearwater Corporate Finance acted as matchmaker, has been named Deal of the Year at the Midlands Insider Dealmaker Awards.
It is the second industry award that the transaction has won, having also been selected as M&A Deal of the Year by the Birmingham Post.
Founded in 1999, Birmingham-based DatingDirect.com is the UK’s leading online dating agency with over 4.5 million members and a revenue exceeding £11 million in 2006. The company also provides a third party dating service to almost 20 other organisations, including Channel Four, AOL and ntl.
Jon Hustler, partner with Clearwater said: “What a great good news story for the Midlands! A business created by two local businessmen as recently as 1999 sells for 40 times profits in a cross border transaction to Europe’s leading player making their first move into the UK.
“We scored points by putting our cross border skills to excellent work, our unshakeable confidence in the business and its management and getting our sleeves rolled up to make this business strategically attractive e to the buyer.
“It took us two years working full on with the management to shape this business, but then only eight weeks from start to finish with Meetic once the initial introduction had been made.”