More Online Dating Action: Daily Mail Sells Dating Sites To EasyDate

More consolidation in the online dating industry, this time in the U.K.: EasyDate has bought up Allegran — which operates four of the top 10 dating websites in the U.K. — from Associated Northcliffe Digital, the digital division of British newspaper publisher Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) & General Trust. No word on a purchase price, but the Daily Mail & General Trust bought Allegran, along with automotive classified company Data Media and Retail four years ago for $86.4 million.

Associated Northcliffe Digital CEO Richard Titus says his firm is selling Allegran because “online dating is no longer a core market for AND, as we are focussed on strengthening our position in the larger classified markets of jobs, property, motors and travels as well as moving into other interesting high growth sectors.” Indeed, the Daily Mail & General Trust has recently been upping its exposure in the property classifieds space, with the purchase of several property sites, as well as a 50 percent stake in property site Globrix.

There’s been substantial consolidation in the dating market recently as overall growth has slowed. In late February, parent IAC said it would buy Singlesnet, while Spark Networks said last month that it would review “potential business combination(s)” after a PE firm offered to take the company private. With the acquisition, EasyDate will now own 12 sites, including Loopylove, DatetheUK and Quickflirt. It has said it is planning to expand to mainland Europe and Brazil this year.