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ProSiebenSat.1 Buys Online Dating Business eHarmony

Love is in the air at German broadcaster and media group ProSiebenSat.1, which has bought U.S. online dating site eHarmony.

ProSiebenSat.1 owns the producers behind the “Married at First Sight” reality series, and is increasingly taking its matchmaking efforts beyond just TV. It had already bought into dating business Parship Elite Group, which it folded into an e-commerce division NuCom Group.

Private equity firm General Atlantic bought into NuCom earlier this year, and the eHarmony deal is the first since it became a partner in the business.

ProSieben said it spotted the potential for the add-on acquisition of eHarmony and in turn, Parship’s expansion into Australia and North America. The German company cited estimates that value the online dating market in the U.S. at $3 billion. It added that eHarmony expects 2.8 million new customers this year.

“Creating growth and leveraging synergies are key elements of our strategy,” said Max Conze, CEO ProSiebenSat.1. “This acquisition is an excellent fit. Bringing these two strong brands together will immediately create a world leading online matchmaking company.”

CEO Grant Langston (pictured, left) will continue to manage the eHarmony business with the Parship CEO Tim Schiffers (pictured, right) joining its board. “By bringing together our well-known, like-minded companies, we have the resources and shared knowledge to compete and achieve growth together in the online matchmaking market with a laser focus on creating long-lasting, meaningful relationships,” Langston said.

ProSiebenSat.1 has been diversifying beyond TV broadcasting, production and distribution in recent years with investments in e-commerce and digital businesses. The value of the eHarmony deal was not disclosed.

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