Pornhub Parent Company Acquired by Canadian Private-Equity Firm

MindGeek, the embattled parent company of Pornhub, has a new owner.

Ethical Capital Partners (ECP), a private-equity firm based on Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, announced that it has acquired MindGeek. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ECP says it is managed by a “multidisciplinary team with regulatory, law enforcement, public engagement and finance experience.”

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Founded in 2004, MindGeek operates a large portfolio of adult entertainment sites, including Pornhub, YouPorn, Redtube, Brazzers,, Sean Cody, Trans Angels and Nutaku. The company says it has “industry-leading compliance and content moderation practices” that “set the standard for trust and safety,” claiming it institutes compliance measures “that surpass those of other platforms on the internet.”

MindGeek is the target of numerous lawsuits alleging Pornhub has profited by distributing child pornography and nonconsensual sex videos. (MindGeek has said the allegations lack merit.) Last year, Visa and Mastercard both cut off payment processing to TrafficJunky, the advertising arm of MindGeek that sells ads on Pornhub, after a federal court ruling last summer rejected Visa’s request to be removed from a case in which MindGeek is being sued for allegedly distributing child pornography. The plaintiff in that case alleged Visa knowingly facilitated MindGeek’s ability to monetize the illegal content.

In addition, YouTube and Instagram have suspended Pornhub’s accounts on their respective platforms for violations of their policies.

In June 2022, MindGeek CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo resigned from their positions while both remained shareholders in the company. Their exits came a week after the New Yorker published a lengthy expose on Pornhub that included allegations it had hosted nonconsensual sex videos and sexually explicit content with minors.

In a statement, ECP said its partners and advisers — which represent “a broad range of experts and stakeholders across law enforcement, legal, regulatory, public engagement and finance” — will work with MindGeek to “ensure its platforms are at the forefront of innovation, and trust and safety on the internet, and remain home to an inclusive global community of adult creators, performers, artists and users celebrating creative and sexual expression.” ECP also said it will invest in MindGeek to be “the internet leader in fighting illegal online content.”

“We are confident that the MindGeek team and all MindGeek platforms operate with trust and safety at the forefront of everything they do,” Sarah Bain, ECP founding partner, said in a statement. “We will be engaging with stakeholders, including content creators, governments and industry to address the misalignment between how MindGeek operates and what the public perceives about this industry and these platforms. We will work with the team to ensure their commitment to trust and safety is communicated clearly with all stakeholders and the public.”

According to ECP’s due diligence on the company, MindGeek “operates legally and responsibly,” Derek Ogden, another founding partner of ECP, said. “The adult entertainment industry will always be the subject of significant legal and regulatory scrutiny. We are highly aware that mere regulatory compliance is not enough and that MindGeek must reassure, communicate and take on a more visible leadership role.”

The announcement of ECP’s MindGeek acquisition comes a day after Netflix premiered documentary “Money Shot,” which examines the controversies involving Pornhub and features interviews with sex workers, activists and ex-employees of the porn giant.

Among its content-safety measures, MindGeek says it moderation practices include an “extensive team of human moderators” who manually review every single upload; a system for flagging, reviewing and removing illegal material; parental controls; and the use of a variety of automated detection technologies.

MindGeek says its headquarters is in Luxembourg, with offices in Montreal; Bucharest, Romania; Nicosia, Cyprus; London; and Los Angeles.

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