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Penthouse Porn Publisher FriendFinder Beats Facebook To IPO Punch; Shares to Price $10 to $12

from www.businessinsider.com – Penthouse publisher FriendFinder Networks Inc., which also runs racy social networking sites Bondage.com, AdultFriendFinder.com, and HotBox.com, hopes to raise $220 million in an IPO this week.

FriendFinder, formerly known as Penthouse Media Group, will sell 20 million shares under an “FFN” name starting Thursday. Shares are expected to price between $10 and $12.

FriendFinder is one of the first social networking sites to go public, and could indicate how well Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn might do in as an IPO.

But analysts say FriendFinder’s sales have been flat. The company said in a regulatory filing that net revenue was $244.4 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared with $243.9 million in the same period a year earlier. In its filing, the company noted that proceeds from the offering would be used to pay off $471 million in debt.

“I think this is a case of going public or going broke,” analyst Francis Gaskins of IPOdesktop.com told the AP. “They’re just too leveraged to stay afloat.”

The Boca Raton-based company has 1 million paying subscribers. They make 70% of their revenue from pay-to-play pornography, personal ads and other graphic content on their social networking sites. The other 30% comes from “general audience” social networking sites that include Amigos.com, SeniorFriendFinder.com and BigChurch.com.

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