Viadeo placed in receivership, looks for a buyer

30 Nov 2016

In the light of financial difficulties, the French business network Viadeo was placed in receivership by a commercial court in Paris for three months, during which time its assets will be divested. Viadeo already has several prospective buyers, according to a news release (available here).

These offers came from “financially sound buyers with recognized expertise in the online recruitment market,” according to the news release.

Viadeo will remain operational until the end of the receivership process. Following that, the company Viadeo SA will be put into compulsory liquidation, and share-trading will be suspended.

Launched in 2004, Viadeo had an ambition of becoming an alternative to LinkedIn, and gained over 40 million subscribers worldwide. It engaged in international expansion in China and Russia. Yet, in the last two years, the company’s revenue started to drop on falling subscriptions, particularly paid subscriptions.

The IPO conducted by the company earlier didn’t raise sufficient funds to cover the launch of new products and expand in China. Viadeo made a decision to pull out from China and Russia and concentrate on France, yet its revenue continued to fall.

The CEO Renie Lemmens issued a warning recently about insufficient funds to finance the turnaround (we reported about it here).

The article in French Figaro points to the fact that Viadeo could not come up with a competitive advantage over LinkedIn, despite its success and loyal following in France.

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Anastasia Gnezditskaia

Anastasia Gnezditskaia has joined AIM Group in 2014 as a writer/analyst covering France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Eastern Europe. A Russian living in Antwerp, Belgium, she has a background working for trade publications covering markets and their regulation. She is educated at Moscow State Lomonosov University (MA in psychology) and Central European University (PhD in public policy). After obtaining her doctoral degree, she taught international political economy at George Washington University in Washington DC where she lived for 10 years. Following this she managed international development projects in Africa at the World Bank, and worked as a journalist covering Congress, federal government agencies and commodity markets, particularly shale gas development in North America.

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