Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/05/itv_friends_reunited_write_down_report/

ITV to write down Friends Reunited value, says report

There's no such thing as a free, chummy lunch

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Financial News, 5th January 2009 13:39 GMT

Friends Reunited could see its carrying value slashed by ITV when the television channel releases its year-end review of past acquisitions.

The Sunday Times reported that the review, which is undertaken by ITV CEO John Cresswell, is expected to conclude that Friends Reunited is worth less than when the firm bought it in December 2005.

ITV acquired the proto-social network site for £120m, and at the time said it would cough a further £55m if the operation hit certain numbers in 2009.

The company stopped charging users of its service in May 2008 as part of a broader plan to integrate Friends Reunited with ITV’s other dating and genealogy sites, as well as compete with the likes of Facebook and Bebo, of course.

It had been charging £7.50 every six months to those people willing to part cash for the ability to make contact with ex-school and work chums. The reunion website launched in July 2000 and claims 19 million members worldwide.

ITV, whose online revenue slowed in the first nine months of 2008 with income rising six per cent to £25m, will announce its full year results on 4 March. It declined to comment on the write down. ®