Viadeo looking for buys, opens U.S. office

PARIS Tue May 18, 2010 1:56pm EDT

Dan Serfaty, CEO of Viadeo, speaks during the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris May 18, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

Dan Serfaty, CEO of Viadeo, speaks during the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris May 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

PARIS (Reuters) - Viadeo, the world's second largest online professional social networking service, is actively looking for acquisitions to expand its business in its key markets of China, India and Latin America, it said on Tuesday.

"In our strategy it makes sense to make acquisitions. We are actively looking for acquisitions in the countries we are in," the French company's co-founder and chief Executive Dan Serfaty said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

He said the company was in talks in Russia with media firms to set up a joint venture to enter that market as there were no large-enough professional social networking sites there to acquire.

Serfaty said the company had been profitable since the last quarter of 2009 and would not need additional capital for expansion.

At the last board meeting, investors said unanimously it was not time to think about going public yet, Serfaty said, adding he would likely ask the board again in two years' time.

Viadeo -- the closest rival to LinkedIn -- would also open regional headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region in San Francisco this year, he said.

"A big chunk of potential partners are there," Serfaty said at the summit, held at the Reuters office in Paris.

Viadeo's key markets are in Western Europe, and also in China, India, and Latin America. It has more than 30 million members, while LinkedIn has more than 65 million members.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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