Match Group Reportedly Approaches Meet Group About a Takeover

Match Group has contacted Meet Group about a takeover, a report says.
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Shares of online/mobile dating service Match Group  (MTCH) - Get Report jumped Thursday following a report that it had contacted rival Meet Group about a takeover.

Bloomberg reported the news, citing sources. Meet Group  (MEET) - Get Report stock also traded sharply higher.

It’s not certain a deal will be completed, the sources said.

Match's market cap is about $21.31 billion vs. a market cap of about $400 million for Meet.

Match is 81%-owned by media company IAC/InterActiveCorp. IAC, which operates media platforms Dotdash and Vimeo. In December, IAC decided to spin off Match from its other businesses. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Former Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg exited the company last month, citing personal reasons. The company chose current President Shar Dubey to take her place March 1.

Match’s revenue lagged analysts’ expectations in the fourth quarter because Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report made it easier for daters to cancel subscriptions, Bloomberg reported.

Competition in the dating app business is getting red hot, as big players such as Facebook  (FB) - Get Report and Blackstone Group  (BX) - Get Report enter the fray. Blackstone purchased a majority stake in MagicLab, owner of Bumble, for about $3 billion in November.

Officials at Match and Meet Group weren’t immediately available for comment.

Match’s staple of dating apps includes OkCupid, Hinge and Plenty of Fish. Meet Group focuses on streaming apps that facilitate text messages. Its apps include MeetMe, Growlr and LOVOO.

A division of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE has considered buying Meet Group, Reuters reported in December.

At last check, Match shares traded at $80.72, up 6.21%. Meet Group traded at $6.20, up 10.95%.

The author of this story owns shares of Facebook and Blackstone.