FriendFinder

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FriendFinder
Web address www.friendfinder.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online dating service
Registration Yes
Owner Andrew Conru, CEO[1]
Launched 1996; 18 years ago (1996)
Current status Active

FriendFinder Networks Inc. (NASDAQFFN) is an internet-based social networking and multimedia entertainment company comprising more than 8,000 websites, according to court documents.[2] FriendFinder's sites include FriendFinder.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, Cams.com, Amigos.com, and Penthouse Magazine.[3]

The company was founded in 1996 by Andrew Conru and is publicly listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol FFN .[4] The corporate headquarters is located in Boca Raton, Florida, with additional offices in California, New York, and Taiwan.[5] The sites on the network reach about 528 million members in more than 200 countries.[6]

Overview[edit]

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.[7]

History[edit]

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.[8]

In 2007, Penthouse Media Group purchased FriendFinder's parent company, Various, Inc., for $500 million.[9] Penthouse later changed its name to FriendFinder Networks.[10]

In 2010, FriendFinder Networks Inc. offered $210 million for Playboy Enterprises, Inc.[11] Hugh Hefner, who owned 70 percent of the voting stock, did not want to sell.[12]

Financial history[edit]

In 2008, shortly after renaming itself FriendFinder Networks, the company filed for a $460 million initial public offering.[13] Most of the money generated was to pay down $420.1 million in short-term debt and other obligations.[14]

IPO[edit]

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.[15]” 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.[16] On February 5, 2010, FFN announced its intention to indefinitely delay its contemplated IPO until such time as market conditions improve.[17]

Bankruptcy[edit]

In August 2013, FriendFinder’s stock was delisted from Nasdaq because it failed to trade for more than $1. FriendFinder Networks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 16, 2013.[18]

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.[19] The company stated it had negotiated a deal with noteholders that would reduce its debt by $300 million.[20]

Reorganization[edit]

In December 2013, FriendFinder Networks' reorganization plan won court approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.[21] Founder Andrew Conru, was named as the reorganized company's chairman and CEO.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bachman, Justin. "When Sex Doesn't Sell: FriendFinder Networks Files for Bankruptcy". Business Week. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Penthouse publisher FriendFinder files for bankruptcy". Reuters.com. September 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  3. ^ "Form 10-K". FriendFinder Networks Inc. UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  4. ^ Conrad Egusa, VentureBeat. "Second time’s a charm: FriendFinder files to go public again." March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  5. ^ "AMENDMENT NO. 2 TO FORM S-1". SEC. 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  6. ^ "FriendFinder Networks Inc. | Company Profile from Hoover’s". Hoovers.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  7. ^ "FriendFinder Networks Inc: OTCMKTS:FFNTQ quotes & news - Google Finance". Google.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  8. ^ Stein, Joel (2007-03-30). "Social networking's dirty side - April 1, 2007". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  9. ^ Martin, Andrew (2007-12-12). "Penthouse Buys Group of Social-Networking Sites". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  10. ^ "Penthouse publisher FriendFinder files for bankruptcy protection - Los Angeles Times". Latimes.com. 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  11. ^ Vanacore, Andrew (2010-07-16). "Penthouse owner makes competing bid for Playboy - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  12. ^ Andrew Vanacore. "Penthouse Owner Bids For Playboy". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  13. ^ "UPDATE 1-FriendFinder files for $460 million IPO". Reuters. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  14. ^ 5:56 pm ETDec 24, 2008 (2008-12-24). "The FriendFinder IPO Filing: Just the Naughty Bits - Digits - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  15. ^ "Two words, lads: Penthouse IPO | Crain's New York Business". Crainsnewyork.com. 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  16. ^ "FriendFinder Networks Said to Delay IPO to Next Week (Update3)". Bloomberg. January 27, 2010. 
  17. ^ Gillian Reagan (2010-02-05). "Crashing Markets Delay FriendFinder's Porn IPO". Business Insider. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  18. ^ Pfeifer, Stuart (September 17, 2013). "Penthouse magazine owner files for bankruptcy". LA Times. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  19. ^ Beaudette, Marie (2013-09-17). "Penthouse Publisher FriendFinder Files for Bankruptcy Protection - WSJ". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  20. ^ "UPDATE 2-Penthouse publisher FriendFinder files for bankruptcy". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  21. ^ Bathon, Michael (2013-12-16). "FriendFinder Alters Reorganization Plan to Win Court OK". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  22. ^ Andrew B. Conru Ph.D. "Andrew Conru: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 

External links[edit]