Hodgson Russ Represents Criterion Capital Partners in Acquisition of Bebo From AOL


Criterion Capital Partners announced on June 18, 2010, that the merchant banking and financial advisory firm had acquired Bebo, a youth-oriented social media network, from AOL. Hodgson Russ represented Criterion Capital partners in the deal.

The acquisition and financing was led by Adam Levin, managing partner at Criterion Capital Partners, in partnership with business strategist Paul Abramowitz and web entrepreneur Richard Hecker.

Levin said, “The young, highly active user base, revenue history, presence in countries throughout the world, and solid technical infrastructure make it an attractive media platform both as a standalone entity and in the context of our broader investment objectives.”

Criterion Capital Partners will take over Bebo’s global operations immediately and retain a San Francisco-based headquarters.

“Criterion Capital Partners are specialists in facilitating growth plans and turnarounds and are well placed to drive Bebo’s effort to strengthen its foothold within the highly competitive social networking arena,” said Tim Armstrong, chair and CEO of AOL.

Bebo launched in 2005 and was acquired by AOL in March 2008 for $850 million. It is a social media network that combines community, connections, self-expression, and entertainment via a range of social tools, games, and a growing mobile platform. Bebo has a strong user base across the globe, including in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Pakistan.

The Hodgson Russ attorneys who assisted Criterion Capital Partners were Alice A. Joseffer and Brad A. Birmingham, both Federal/International Tax Practice Group, and Bethany J. Hills, and Patricia C. Sandison, all Corporate & Securities Practice Group.

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