Britain's ITV Poised to Sign First Online Deal

08 November 2005

The UK's largest commercial broadcaster ITV is about to make its first internet acquisition. The £120 million ($210m €177m) deal to acquire Friends Reunited looks set to be inked by the end of the month.

The website, which started as a spare-bedroom venture five years ago, enables users to trace former schoolfriends and now has 12m subscribers. Sales are expected to top £11m by the end of this year. Profits of £6.5m are slated for this year, up from £4.6m last time.

ITV's desire to buy stems from its interest in growing online advertising as revenues from traditional TV commercials slide. It mulled a bid for Exchange & Mart, the classified ads title, sold by United Business Media this year.

The sale of Friends Reunited will leave its husband and wife founders and their business partner around £30m richer.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff