It's a date: Time Out owner sells majority stake in online dating service

William Turvill
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Oakley bought into Parship Elite 16 months ago

Oakley Capital Investments’ share price jumped by more than five per cent today after it announced the sale of its controlling stake in a German online dating service.

Oakley, which is headed up by entrepreneur Peter Dubens, has sold part of its share in Parship Elite to German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1.

The deal values Parship Elite at €300m (£251m) and Oakley’s private equity fund, Fund II, receives gross proceeds of €67m, including expected net cash returns of €44m, while retaining a stake understood to be less than 40 per cent. The deal marks a rate of return of around 150 per cent.

Read more: Digital boost helps magazine publisher overcome advertising Time Out

The transaction comes shortly after Oakley, which counts Woodford Investment Management, Invesco, Henderson Volantis and Fidelity among its investors, raised £90m through floating media company Time Out on the alternative investment market in London.

Oakley’s share price was up by more than five per cent to 145p today.

“The sale of this stake in Parship Elite Group locks in an impressive return for [Oakley] and a continued stake in a fast growth business,” said Dubens, the director of Oakley.

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“Oakley Capital has a successful history of working with ProSiebenSat.1 with both parties currently invested in online consumer business, Verivox.

“We are excited by the opportunity that Fund II has created to once again partner with ProSiebenSat.1 and the management of Parship Elite Group, and believe that the value of our retained stake will be significantly enhanced within the ProSiebenSat.1 group of companies by allowing Parship Elite Group to leverage ProSiebenSat.1’s leading position in the media sector.”

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