My Single Friend, an online dating website founded by the television presenter Sarah Beeny, has been put up for sale for up to £15m.Its major shareholders – Ms Beeny and the technology company Telecom Express – have hired the accountancy firm BDO to handle a sale of the company this summer.While it is unclear if they have submitted first rounds bids for My Single Friend, its suitors could include IAC, which owns Match, and the US company e Harmony.
She also co-founded the website Tepilo, which helps users to buy, sell or let their properties with no charges or commission.
*My Single Friend is the tenth-most popular subscription-based internet dating site in the UK and has about 20,000 members.
A source said: "The real opportunity is international expansion because no one else in the world does this [friend recommendation] and it works really well.
The site is very sticky." My Single Friend attracts 9,000 new singles a month from across the UK.
Plus you can obviously perform your own search too, but we’ll come back to that later.
No one can join the site without having a recommending friend.Plentyoffish accounted for 21.23 per cent of visits to dating sites in July, according to Hitwise.*The biggest UK player with a subscription model is Match, which received 7.3 per cent of dating traffic.First-round bids of between £10m and £15m were submitted earlier this month, primarily by rival online dating businesses, but some private equity firms are also interested.BDO declined to comment, while My Single Friend and Telecom Express did not return calls.The company also runs dating sites for newspapers and the Classic FM radio station.