IAC And Match Group Officially Announce Separation

Match Group
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IAC Separates from Match Group

Months after going public with its intention to spin off Match Group, IAC has entered into a definitive agreement providing for the full separation of Match Group from IAC’s remaining businesses. The transaction will result in IAC and Match Group (which includes dating sites like Match, Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge) becoming two independent public companies.

"We've long said IAC is the 'anti-conglomerate' – we're not empire builders. We've always separated out our businesses as they've grown in scale and maturity and soon Match Group, as the seventh spin-off, will join an impressive group of IAC progeny collectively worth $58 billion today," said Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC.

The planned transaction stands to offer numerous benefits for Match Group as the company grows, including enhancing trading liquidity, increasing strategic flexibility and eliminating dual class structure. There is also a long list of advantages for IAC, including giving IAC shareholders direct ownership in Match Group, allowing IAC management to focus on currently undervalued assets and positioning IAC for the company’s next stage of growth.

Following the deal's closing, the Match Group board will consist of 11 directors. IAC CEO Joey Levin will initially serve as executive chairman and IAC finance chief Glenn Schiffman will remain on the board. Match Group will purchase two Tinder-majority occupied buildings that are currently owned by IAC, paying $120 million in stock.

"Match Group is well on its way to standing completely on its own with a bright future in a big global market, and we're excited to turn our attention to building the next generation of great companies,” said Joey Levin, CEO of IAC. “This is the fun part."

"We've grown up tremendously over the last 20 years as part of IAC, from an innovator in a nascent category to a global leader in a fast-growing market with millions of users all over the world," added Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match Group. "Match Group is in an incredibly strong position as we enter this transaction and we are ready for the next chapter of the company's journey."

The split is a somewhat unusual move in an era defined by consolidation of major tech and media companies — but in this case, at least, the breakup is for the best.

Shares of both IAC and Match Group rallied in the wake of the announcement. Investors and analysts say Barry Diller’s successful history of incubating and spinning off companies bodes well for the separation, and that spin offs allow companies to focus more productively on their individual attributes and goals, unlocking greater value and potential for growth.

Pending approval, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.