NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Match just netted a big one.
Fresh off last month's news that IAC/InterActive (IACI) will spin online dating subsidiary the Match Group into an independent company, Match announced plans Tuesday to purchase Canada-based dating site PlentyOfFish for $575 million in cash. That could make Match, which RBC Capital Markets analysts estimate will turn $400 million EBITDA in 2016, appear an even bigger catch to investors at its expected IPO.
"It obviously adds to the company's value," said Brittany Carter, an analyst at IBISWorld. "Match Group's done several large acquisitions over the past 5 years. PlentyOfFish does not offer more revenue compared to other Match acquisitions, but it does offer a bigger audience."
PlentyOfFish has 3 million active users worldwide; for comparison, Match's OkCupid boasts 3.8 million.
Started in 2003 in Vancouver, Canada, PlentyOfFish is on track to make $100 million this year, reported Business in Vancouver. The site makes much of its money from showing advertisements to free users, but has adopted a "freemium" model that also includes monthly subscription fees.
In a research note, RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mark S. Mahaney called PlentyOfFish a "natural addition" to Match.
"We believe Match is solidifying its position as the leader in the rapidly growing Online Dating segment with the acquisition of POF," the note read. "IAC/Match now really owns the Online Dating segment."
The operator of Match.com, Tinder and other dating properties is expected to close its deal with PlentyOfFish before the end of this year, pending approval from Canadian regulators.
PlentyOfFish accounted for 4.9% of the online dating market in April 2015, according to IBISWorld. Internet tracker comScore estimated that its monthly unique visitors are growing 27% year-over-year.
Buying more dating websites is a good deal for Match, Carter said, because it helps them to serve smaller niches and catch users that tend to switch from one site to another. In this case, it hopes to get more users outside the U.S.
"Nationally, it's not much of a competitive advantage, but internationally it will help them to extend their reach," Carter said.
It is not yet clear if Match will purchase PlentyOfFish before or after its spin off from IAC.