Evolution founder Griffiths ups his stake in Cupid

Oliver Smith
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THE FORMER chairman and founder of investment bank Evolution Securities, Richard Griffiths, yesterday became the third largest shareholder of Cupid, the former dating website operator which will soon be renamed Castle Street Investments.

Griffiths, who founded Evolution in 2000 and later set up boutique investment firm ORA Capital Partners in 2005, increased his holdings in Cupid from 4.53 per cent in August to over 10 per cent of the company’s shares.

His increased stake in Cupid comes ahead of a crucial shareholder vote on 23 December to approve sweeping changes to the company including the sale of its last remaining online dating sites and its conversion into an £18m investment company.

The decision to sell its remaining dating sites to Tradax IP Licensing, Together Networks Holdings Ltd and Together Networks Ltd stunned investors on Monday causing Cupid’s shares to tank 25.5 per cent on the day.

Cupid has struggled to keep pace with the move towards smartphone dating apps led by the likes of Tinder, in Cupid’s half year results in September the group revealed its losses had widened to £4.2m while revenue had halved.

“After a number of fundamental changes in the dating market, we instigated a rapid strategic review of the dating business,” said chairman George Elliott on Monday.

“The company will effectively become a well capitalised cash shell with approximately £18m that can be utilised for new opportunities in line with our proposed investing policy or returned to shareholders.”

Shares in Cupid tumbled a further 1.4 per cent yesterday to close at an all time low of just 17.75p in London.