Pornhub has been accused of profiting from abuse. Why did an “ethical” investment firm buy it?

Key points
  • An “ethical” private equity firm has acquired the world’s largest porn site.
  • This week, Ethical Capital Partners announced the purchase of Pornhub parent company MindGeek.
  • Pornhub has been the target of a wave of lawsuits and allegations.
This article contains links to rape and child sexual abuse.
Canadian private equity firm Ethical Capital Partners this week announced it has acquired MindGeek, which runs the world’s largest porn site, Pornhub.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed following Thursday’s announcement.
MindGeek, headquartered in Luxembourg but with large offices in Montreal, has been the target of several lawsuits alleging that it profited from distributing child pornography and sex videos without consent, which it denies.

New owner Ethical Capital Partners is “looking for investment opportunities in industries that require principled ethical leadership,” Rocco Meliambro, chairman of the Ottawa firm, said in a statement.

“Our philosophy is based on identifying properties that are suitable for our responsible investment approach and that have the potential to deliver attractive returns over a compelling time horizon,” he said.
“We believe that the adult entertainment industry is being influenced by changing public attitudes and approaches to regulation, and it is time for this business to grow.”
MindGeek, founded in 2004, operates a large portfolio of adult entertainment sites including Pornhub, YouPorn, Redtube, and
However, the internet porn market leader has faced a growing backlash after the New York Times published an article in December 2020 accusing Pornhub of hosting illegal content online, including child pornography and rape videos.

This led Canadian lawmakers to question executives about alleged abuse while Mastercard and Visa suspended payments to Pornhub. Its top executives stepped down in June 2022.

Solomon Friedman, founding partner of Ethical Capital Partners, said the firm “engaged with the MindGeek team and stakeholders, including content creators, advocates, law enforcement, civil society partners and policy makers, to inform us of our efforts and strengthen MindGeek’s secure platforms.” . going beyond legal and regulatory obligations.”
Mr. Friedman said that “public and transparent dialogue is the only way to destigmatize the legitimate choice of adult performers and consumers.”
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