Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has plowed a billion dollars into shares of Match Group Inc., the owner of Tinder, Hinge, Match, Meetic, OkCupid, Pairs, Plenty Of Fish, and other dating website brands, and plans to boost performance as online dating wanes in a post-Covid world, The Wall Street Journal.
Paul Singer is the brain behind Elliot Management and plans to engage Match Group in a strategic dialogue to implement a turnaround plan. The exact nature of Elliott’s proposals remains a mystery, as this could include a management shakeup or nominating directors to Match’s board.
Shares of Match closed Monday at $37.89. In premarket trading in New York, shares have jumped 11.5% to $42.24 on the WSJ report. Match commanded $175 a share in October 2021 during the Covid mania in capital markets. Since then, shares have tumbled 78% as match-dating platforms hemorrhaged users.
A Match spokeswoman responded to WSJ’s inquiry about Elliot taking a stake in the company:
Third-quarter earnings for Match showed its dating platforms suffered a decline in the number of paying customers on the flagship Tinder app. The company forecasted the drop would get much worse in the fourth quarter.
WSJ pointed out Elliott was victorious against wireless tower owner Crown Castle, which, last month, said it would review its fiber business and replace two directors on its board.
We suspect Elliot will be eyeing at least one board spot at Match to push a turnaround plan and revive growth at Tider and Hinge.