Friday, March 19, 2010
Spark Networks Hires Piper Jaffray & Co.
Beverly Hills-based online dating operator Spark Networks said Friday afternoon that it has hired Piper Jaffray & Co., as its independent financial advisor, to help the firm consider a buyout proposal from Great Hill Partners III, LP. According to Spark, Piper Jaffray & Co. will advise its Special Committee of its Board on the transaction. Great Hill offered to buy Spark on March 2nd, saying it is looking to pay $3.10 per share, or approximately $64M, for the firm. As part of the announcement, Spark said L.I.S.T. Incorporated has filed a "purported" class action complaint in Delaware claiming the company and Great Hill have breached their fiduciary duties, and is looking to enjoin the consummation of Great Hill's offer. Spark said it "intends to defend itself vigorously" and believes the claims are meritless. Great Hill Partners III, LP is one of Spark's major investors. Spark operates a number of online dating sites, including JDate.com, Spark.com, BlackSingles.com, and ChristianMingle.com.