​Ashley Madison Going Public: Cheaters Website Goes Public In London Amid American Morals

Author: John LesterBy:
Staff Reporter
Apr. 17, 2015

Ashley Madison going public was a difficult task in New York, so the company will try in London, even though most of its adulterers live in the United States. There’s a perhaps-surprising reason that the owners of the Web site for people cheating on their spouses, decided to issue public stock abroad rather than New York, according to The Inquisitr. Americans say they are just too moral.

“American investors didn’t like the idea of Ashley Madison going public in New York. It’s ironic since most of its database live in America,” says one expert about the IPO.

The Toronto-based Avid Life Media says it’s planning a London public stock offering sometime this year because “Europe is the only region where we have a real chance of doing an IPO,” Christoph Kraemer, the company’s head of international relations, told Bloomberg. “We’re no longer a niche, but it’s been difficult in North America to find the support to go public.” Europe, he said, is more tolerant of adultery.

And yet, while AshleyMadison operates in 46 countries, fully half of the cheaters on the site are in the United States, according to Daily Telegraph. So maybe it’s more precise to say that Americans are too publicly moral, clutching our pearls until we’re alone in a room with our computers and smartphones, credit-cards out.

And not just a few credit cards. Somewhere around 18 million of AshleyMadison’s users are in the United States. The site has approximately 36 million users worldwide.

Avid Life, which also operates Cougarlife (which connects women of a certain age with their generally-younger admirers) and EstablishedMen, (a “sugar daddy” site), said Wednesday that it wants to raise up to $200 million to help it beef up to meet soaring demand for its services. You may cry now.

Avid Life claimed sales of $115 million last year, four times higher than in 2009, and says it’s worth about $1 billion. The site launched in 2001, and has been a target of moral outrage all along — to its own benefit. That’s the great thing about working in a business that is considered sleazy or marginal by just about everyone, including its own customers: when somebody calls you sleazy, that’s a good thing, at least from a marketing standpoint.

Avid Life says Asia is its next big market, and claims that more than half of its business will come from that continent by 2020 (a figure that would likely be much higher if the company could operate in China, but it’s hard to imagine the site, with its slogan “Life is Short. Have an Affair,” getting through that country’s government Internet filters).

AshleyMadison’s owners are often characterized as “unapologetic” (by polite news reporters) or as “shameless” (by less-polite critics). But like many companies that serve human vice, Avid Life has displayed a certain ambivalence about its business, at least in public statements. Kraemer told Bloomberg: “We’ve had stories from members that we’ve returned love to the marital bed and made others realize the grass is not greener on the other side.”

Which seems like an odd thing to say for a company that sells itself on the notion that the grass is so much greener on the other side that you want to leap the fence and roll around in it-and drain some money from your bank account for the privilege.

Sin is big business. Like it or not, some of the oldest, largest and most profitable companies are raking in billions from human vices. It’s no different than Ashley Madison going public because it pays investors.

Consider Philip Morris (PM), Penn National Gaming (PENN), and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), for example. All three deal in “deadly sins” — tobacco, gambling and drinking.

Now, you can shun these stocks if you like. But millions don’t. Why? Because sin stocks are entrenched in American capitalism — and continue to churn out profits.

Cheating has moved online. Just as there are dating sites like Match.com, owned by IAC (IACI), and eHarmony, there’s a company that caters to people seeking extra-marital relationships.

Seedy? Certainly. Controversial? Absolutely. But as it turns out, the online “cheaters market” is growing fast — and this company is capitalizing…

“Life is Short… Have An Affair”

Ashley Madison going public was impossible with that tabling above. It belongs to the site, stating that it’s fine to cheat on your spouse, notes The New York Post. Like other sins, their campaign is “you only live once.”

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