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How Much Is Adultery Worth? $200 Mil, Apparently

AshleyMadison.com, the scandalous dating website for married people seeking affairs, is hoping to hold a $200 million IPO in London later this year.

Toronto-based Avid Life Media says that the money raised will aid with the site’s global expansion and will also allow for greater marketing for the business whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Adultery has proven to be a booming business on the Internet. Last year, AshleyMadison had revenue of over $115 million– more than four times what it took in back in 2009. The site works by having men buy credits, and then use them to gain access to women, who don’t have to pay anything to engage in cuckoldry. Currently, AshleyMadison claims to have over 34 million members in 46 countries, with new membership rising especially quickly among women. About half of its revenue comes from the U.S. market.

The London gambit is actually the second attempt at an IPO by the website. It already tried to launch in Canada, but had the effort fall through due to a lack of willing investors. According to the Financial Times, the choice of London was also dictated by cultural norms.

“The most logical place would have been Asia given the growth potential, but considering Asian culture and views on infidelity, the likelihood of the IPO succeeding on Asian stock market is probably not very high,” said Christoph Kraemer, head of the company’s international relations. Europeans, he said, took a more “laissez-faire” attitude towards infidelity.

While the West may be more casual about infidelity, the company views Asia as its best possible source of growth, and hopes to have half of its revenue come from Asia by the end of the decade. It’s faced legal obstacles in the region, however. The website is banned in Singapore, and was also banned in South Korea until a court threw out the country’s ban on adultery.

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