FriendsReunited 'not for sale'

Recent reports indicate that rather than selling the popular find-an-old-friend venture, the owners are set to expand the service

The owners of FriendsReunited.co.uk have back-tracked on their plans to sell the phenomenally successful venture -- announcing they instead plan to go global with the popular contact site.

Earlier this year founder Steve Pankhurst announced he and co-founder Julia Pankhurst were considering a number of options for the company, valued at around £25m, one of which was a sale.

However, this weekend he appeared to have scrapped this plan, telling The Sunday Times that he intends to grow the business internationally, setting up similar services worldwide.

FriendsReunited already has sites in Europe and South Africa and has now announced plans to double its eight million user base through further expansion, according to the report.

Acknowledging its growth from 'bedroom business' -- started with little capital and no marketing budget -- to fully fledged major player in the new economy, the company has also hired Michael Murphy, the former chief operating officer of the Financial Times, to help develop the company.

He has been charged with boosting FriendsReunited's membership in return for an equity stake in the firm and a series of performance related incentives, linked to the growth of the company's user base.

Murphy is also expected to increase the 'corporate' profile of the company through the hiring of a marketing director and financial director.


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