Ethical Capital buys Pornhub's parent company

The private equity firm, which advocates "principled ethical leadership," will take over the adult entertainment company previously sued for hosting pornographic videos of minors.

Canadian private equity firm Ethical Capital Partners (ECP) announced the acquisition of MindGeek, parent company of Pornhub and other adult entertainment platforms. Ethical Capital noted that "under its ethical leadership" it is confident of keeping the adult content platform as the most visited in its online field, as well as leading the company to "a leading role in the fight against illegal content across the internet." MindGeek was reported in 2020 for not removing sexually explicit videos of minors and rape from its site.

In a press release, which did not disclose the amount of the transaction, the chairman of the company,  Rocco Meliambro -dubbed the king of cannabis- explained that the purchase of MindGeek was made in line with the fund's goal of seeking "investment opportunities in industries that require principled ethical leadership. We believe the adult entertainment industry is being influenced by evolving public views and regulatory approaches, and the time is appropriate for evolving this business."

Pornhub receives 130 million hits per day

MindGeek, whose owners will not maintain any link with the company, is convinced that, with the support of ECP, " we will continue to revolutionize safe, legal, sex-positive tech, and connect adult users around the globe with creators, content, advertising partners and technology they can trust. MindGeek also owns YouPorn, Redtube, Brazzers,, Sean Cody, Trans Angels and Nutaku.

Pornhub is currently "the world's leading adult entertainment community," the release stated. It has a catalog of more than three million videos and some 76 million active monthly subscribers. Its website receives more than 130 million visits every day. According to the latest published financials, MindGeek achieved 2018 revenues of $460 million, with a profit margin around 50%.

"Monetizes child rape, revenge porn"....

However, the company was on the verge of shutting down in 2020, when an investigation by The New York Times denounced the existence of videos with explicit sexual content of minors on the platform and others in which they did not have the consent of any of the protagonists. In the article, Pulitzer winner Nicholas Kristof noted:

Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for “girls under18” (no space) or “14yo” leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.

As a result of this publication, Visa and Mastercard cancelled their credit card payment service for MindGeek, causing a major drain on the Luxembourg-based company's accounts. Pornhub revised its policies and shut down millions of accounts, in addition to tightening up the uploading policy of content by users.