CFIUS Allegedly Misled Over Grindr’s 2020 Sale

Written by Dominic Whitlock

Some of the key players in the sale of Grindr last year allegedly made contradictory statements to the regulatory authorities, an exclusive report from Reuters has suggested.

The majority of the inconsistencies lie around James Lu, a Chinese-American businessman who currently serves as Grindr’s Chairman and has a history of several failed attempts to take over the gay dating platform.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was reportedly told that Lu had no previous dealings with Ding’an Fei, a key advisor for Beijing Kunlun Tech during the dealings. However, it’s transpired that the pair started to work together at the back end of 2019, during one of the former’s attempts to raise funds to acquire Grindr.

There’s also evidence that they both worked for Life Concepts Holdings Ltd, a major restaurant operator in China, at the same time.

CFIUS potentially might have to reopen its review of the transaction, because if these misrepresentations are found to be true then it could invalidate the approval.

Grindr’s new owners maintain that all of the formalities were properly adhered to. 

Spokesperson Taylor Ingraham told Reuters: “A complete and accurate account of James Lu’s relationship with Ding’an Fei, as well as his investments and business activities in China, was provided to CFIUS prior to the agency’s approval of San Vicente Holdings’ acquisition of Grindr.”

Reporters first uncovered the potential connections in June 2020, forcing Grindr to promise that all bidders were given a fair and level playing field.

Read more here.

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