Type of site
|Online dating service|
|Owner||Andrew Conru, CEO|
FriendFinder Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFN) is an internet-based social networking and multimedia entertainment company comprising more than 8,000 websites, according to court documents. FriendFinder's sites include FriendFinder.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, Cams.com, Amigos.com, and Penthouse Magazine.
The company was founded in 1996 by Andrew Conru and is publicly listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol FFN . The corporate headquarters is located in Boca Raton, Florida, with additional offices in California, New York, and Taiwan. The sites on the network reach about 528 million members in more than 200 countries.
FriendFinder focuses on social networking and Web-based video sharing. Operating in two segments - internet and entertainment. The company's internet segment is involved with social networking, online personals, premium content, live interactive video, recorded video, online chatrooms, instant messaging, photo, video and voice sharing, blogs, message boards and e-mail, while its entertainment segment produces and distributes pictorial and video content.
After founding and later selling WebPersonals, the first online dating site, Andrew Conru launched FriendFinder Networks in 1996 while attending Stanford. A social networking site where people could connect with friends or activity partners. it was discovered that people were posting naked pictures of themselves and seeking sexual partners on FriendFinder. As a result, AdultFriendFinder was launched. Much of the company's growth without investment capital has been attributed to its affiliate program, with more than 500,000 affiliates to date.
In 2008, shortly after renaming itself FriendFinder Networks, the company filed for a $460 million initial public offering. Most of the money generated was to pay down $420.1 million in short-term debt and other obligations.
As of January 17, 2010, according to Crain's New York, FriendFinder Networks has a negative net worth equal to $118 million, $32 million in cash on hand and $650 million in liabilities. The company had also indicated that it lacked existing cash or cash from operations to repay a $44.5 million debt that was due July 31. It has cautioned that, unless it can repay or restructure its obligation, it will face “a material deficiency in our short term liquidity.” With these shortfalls in mind, the company again announced an intention to make an initial public offering of stock, representing a 49% stake in the company, with plans to use the proceeds to pay down its debt and become listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The contemplated public offering, scheduled to reach the market on January 27, 2010 was delayed by FFN. On February 5, 2010, FFN announced its intention to indefinitely delay its contemplated IPO until such time as market conditions improve.
According to Thomson Reuters data, FriendFinder had not turned a net profit since at least 2008. Ezra Shashoua, the company's chief financial officer, blamed the lower revenue on a drop in membership and increased advertising costs for affiliates, according to court documents. Shashoua also said credit card companies had refused to process transactions for the company's Internet businesses. The company stated it had negotiated a deal with noteholders that would reduce its debt by $300 million.
In December 2013, FriendFinder Networks' reorganization plan won court approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Founder Andrew Conru, was named as the reorganized company's chairman and CEO.
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