Match Group Faces Even More Competition in Online Dating

Blackstone Group Inc. (NYSE: BX) is looking to get out there after acquiring a majority stake in MagicLab, which runs the online dating apps Bumble and Badoo. By the looks of it, Blackstone is looking to compete with industry leader Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH) and its portfolio of dating sites and services.

Note that this transaction values the company at roughly $3 billion. For comparison, Match is worth about $18 billion.

MagicLab was founded in 2006 by Andrey Andreev, and management says this company has helped invent how people meet in the modern, mobile age. MagicLab’s suite of brands has connected and transformed the lives of over 500 million people around the world across dating, social and business.

Also part of the acquisition, Andreev will be selling his stake and stepping down from the business. He will be replaced as CEO by Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble, who, together with Blackstone, will work to accelerate the business’ growth even further.

Whitney Wolfe Herd added:

This transaction is an incredibly important and exciting moment for Bumble and the MagicLab group of brands and team members. Blackstone is world-class at maximizing the success of entrepreneur-led companies, which presents a tremendous opportunity. We are very excited to build the next chapter with them. I am honored to take on the role of CEO of the group. I will strive to lead the group with a continued values-based and mission-first focus, the same one that has been core to Bumble since I founded the company five years ago. We will keep working towards our goal of recalibrating gender norms and empowering people to connect globally, and now at a much faster pace with our new partner.

Match suffered a huge loss earlier this week after the firm reported its most recent quarterly results. However, this comes after the company has posted incredible gains for the year thus far and is continuing its impressive growth.

Shares of Blackstone traded up about 0.5% on Friday to $51.68, in a 52-week range of $26.88 to $55.17. The consensus price target is $54.54.

Match was down nearly 2% to $68.47 a share. The 52-week range is $33.30 to $95.32, and the consensus price target is $81.95.