Brightsolid (formerly Scotland Online), owned by Dundee publishers DC Thomson, is to buy Friends Reunited Group from ITV for only £25 million. The completion of the deal is subject to clearance by the competition authorities.
Friends Reunited is the original social network with 20.6 million members, which was launched in 2000 to put old school friends back in touch with each other. Its sister site Genes Reunited was launched in 2003 and is currently the UK’s largest family history website with over 9 million members worldwide and 650 million names listed. Together with Friends Reunited Dating, the group attracts three million unique users per month. When ITV bought Friends Reunited in 2005, it agreed to pay £175 million.
The acquisition of Friends Reunited Group would create Britain’s leading genealogy business by bringing together Genes Reunited and findmypast.com (which operate the official 1901 and 1911 Census websites respectively in association with The National Archives) and ScotlandsPeople (in partnership with the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon).