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Penthouse buys AdultFriendFinder

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Grumble mag Penthouse is buying a bunch of social networking sites which put the stress on the social rather than the networking.

Penthouse Media Group is paying $500m for Various Inc which runs 25 networking sites with 260m members, 1.2m of them paying subscriptions. Best known amongst of these is AdultFriendFinder, with 18m members, which lets surfers search for potential partners interested in friendship, dating, serious relationship or marriage.

The deal will give the combined company revenues for 2007 of $340m in revenue making it, Penthouse tells us, the world's largest adult entertainment company.

Other sites under the Various umbrella include: passion.com ("for passionate adults who want relationships with a little 'edge'"), the self-explanatory IndianFriendFinder.com and its German and Italian equivalent, gradfinder.com and amigos.com - for Spanish speakers.

Penthouse publishes its eponymous magazine as well as running grot websites. The company was started in the UK in 1965. It ran into problems in 2004 and was rescued by a bunch of private investors including current CEO Marc H Bell. ®

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