friendfinderlogo.pngPenthouse Media has bought the owner of the profligate porn site AdultFriendFinder, for $500 million.

VentureBeat has confirmed the acquisition, although it wasn’t announced. The deal closed last Thursday. The New York Times reported on deal too. Last month, we heard the company was negotiating to sell to Penthouse for between $500 million and $1 billion.

AdultFriendFinder is just the largest property of Various, the acquired entity. AdultFriendFinder offer an adult community for swingers, and a range of more than 25 smaller and less risque sites. It also does business under the name FriendFinder and claims to have more than 260 million total users, with 1.2 of them paying customers.

Among other sites, Various owns gradfinder.com and bigchurch.com

Penthouse is trying to expand online. Marc H. Bell, the company’s chief executive, said the strategy was to diversify from its print origins and serve a range of sex-related print, in video and online material to 18-to-34-year-old men.

Bell is part of a group of private investors called PET Capital Partners, that bought the financially bankrupt Penthouse magazine in 2004.

We previously reported how the company’s revenues and profits, while considerable, are offset by considerable risks in the sector, posed by things such as new business models (amateurs are submitting their own videos).