Ashley Madison courted several buyers, landed none before attack
By Allison Martell and Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - The owner of adultery website Ashley Madison had already been struggling to sell itself or raise funds for at least three years before the publication of details about its members, according to internal documents and emails also released by hackers as part of their assault on the company in recent weeks.
Some unnamed investors wanted out, multiple attempts to close a deal or raise funds failed, and a public market debut looked increasingly unlikely, the documents show.
Avid Life Media announced on Friday that CEO Noel Biderman, who founded the website in 2001, had left the company with immediate effect, the latest sign of the wrenching impact on the company of the attack that led to the disclosure of sensitive data about millions of clients.
In an April 2015 letter addressed to all its investors, closely-held Avid Life acknowledged that some investors had pressed it to improve liquidity so they could sell shares. The company said it would buy back up to $10 million worth of shares.
"Over the last couple of years, we have not been successful in exploring various alternatives including a sale of the business and seeking debt from third parties," said the letter signed by the board of directors.
Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the email messages and internal documents.
Avid Life did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Members of the company's board also could not be reached for comment. Biderman was not reachable by phone.