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Blackstone Buys Bumble Owner, Valuing Dating Business at $3 Billion

Blackstone has bought a majority stake in the European dating app conglomerate Magic Lab, the owner of Bumble, in a deal that values the firm at roughly $3 billion. 

The move is a radical departure from the plan Magic Lab CEO Andrey Andreev outlined a year ago to hold an initial public offering in the U.S. and spin up more dating apps. Besides Bumble, Magic Lab’s portfolio includes Badoo, Chappy, and Lumen. 

As part of the Blackstone deal, Andreev will sell his stake, leave the company, and be replaced as CEO by Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble. The reason for Andreev’s departure wasn’t disclosed, but a recent Forbes investigation of Magic Lab’s history detailed allegations of a misogynistic, raucous party culture and tax avoidance schemes.

Blackstone’s takeover of Magic Lab comes at an interesting time in the dating app world. IAC recently detailed plans to spin out Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, as its own publicly traded company. Meanwhile, Facebook is expanding access to its dating feature around the world.

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