ICON Corporate Finance has advised the management of Uniform Dating on the sale of the company to AIM listed Cupid plc for a consideration of up to £7m. Uniform Dating is the UK’s leading provider of online dating services both for people in the uniformed services and those who would like to date them. The company originally began providing dating services to members of the emergency services back in 2004 but has grown significantly and become highly profitable since it began its successful TV advertising campaign during 2009 attracting a much wider audience.
The global market for online dating is worth over $3Bn worldwide. ICON was appointed by Geoff Hyams to sell Uniform Dating and marketed the company to a global target list of prospective acquirers. The sale process was highly competitive and offers were received from major dating site operators in the US, UK, Continental Europe and Australia. Management subsequently selected Cupid plc, a high growth AIM listed online dating business which has become increasingly acquisitive in recent years, as the preferred bidder.
Geoff Hyams, CEO of Uniform Dating said “Uniform Dating is a leading player in the UK online dating market which has significant global growth opportunities and we were keen to attract offers from buyers who recognised this potential. ICON played a key role in achieving the best result for shareholders and we are delighted with the sale of the business to Cupid offering a highly compelling strategic fit”.
Eddie Harding of ICON Corporate Finance who ran the sale process for management said “Uniform Dating is one of those outstanding tech business which has shown rapid growth over the last few years despite the tough economic climate. The company has produced an extremely well known brand making it the market leader in its niche sector, and represents a perfect match with Cupid by offering significant future growth opportunities, both domestically and in new territories.”
Bill Dobbie, Chief Executive of Cupid plc, said “We are very pleased to add a further high quality business to the Cupid family of dating sites. Uniform Dating is a fast growing, profitable business which is a dominant player in the uniformed personnel dating niche and fits perfectly into our portfolio of sites. We look forward to driving Uniform Dating’s growth through our international footprint and marketing expertise.”
Legal advisers for the company were Andrew Hoad and Claire Williams of ASB Law.
“Uniform Dating is a leading player in the UK online dating market which has significant global growth opportunities and we were keen to attract offers from buyers who recognized this potential. ICON played a key role in achieving the best result for our shareholders and we are delighted with the sale of the business to Cupid who offered a highly compelling strategic fit.”
Geoff Hyams, CEO of Uniform Dating