Stephen Schwarzman Swipes Right on Dating App Business
Posted on 11/10/2019
Blackstone Group, through various funds it manages, are taking a majority stake in MagicLab, which builds and operates dating and social networking apps, including Bumble and Badoo. The transaction values the company at approximately US$ 3 billion in enterprise value. MagicLab was formed in 2006 by Andrey Andreev and he is the founder of Londonb-based Badoo. As part of the deal, Andreev will be selling his stake and stepping down from the business. He will be replaced as CEO by Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble, who, together with Blackstone, will work to accelerate the business’ growth even further.
MagicLab has made large gains in the fast-growing online dating industry competing against rivals like Tinder, Match.com, and eHarmony. Match is the company that owns Tinder. Whitney Wolfe Herd had previously been a Tinder co-founder.
Citi Global Capital Markets Inc. is serving as an exclusive financial advisor to MagicLab and is providing financing in support of the acquisition by Blackstone. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal advisor to Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble. Baker McKenzie is serving as legal advisor to the majority shareholders of MagicLab (including Andrey Andreev) and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to Blackstone.