November 5, 2007, 12:00 AM

IAC spinning off HSN, Ticketmaster, Interval and LendingTree

IAC/InteractiveCorp. plans to spin off Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Interval and LendingTree as publicly traded companies. The move will help investors more easily identify the businesses, says CEO Barry Diller.

IAC/InteractiveCorp. plans to spin off Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Interval International and LendingTree as publicly traded companies. IAC will become a fifth company that includes businesses in its Media & Advertising division, such as Ask.com, Match.com and Shoebuy.com; its Emerging Business division, such as BustedTees.com, CollegeHumor.com and Gifts.com; and IAC’s current investments, including Active.com and Points.com.

“IAC becomes a truly integrated Internet conglomerate with over 30 brands with great growth, solid revenues and earnings, and a pristine balance sheet,” says Barry Diller, chairman and CEO at IAC, No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

IAC’s board of directors has approved the spin-off plan, but still must sign off on certain aspects of the transaction, the company says. Other conditions apply, including filing and review of registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The proposed spin-offs are expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2008. On completion, IAC’s shareholders will own 100% of the equity in all five companies.

“I’ve always believed our complexity and many mouthfuls of sentences to explain who we are and what our strategy is have hampered clarity and understanding with all our constituencies, particularly investors,” Diller says. “One of the reasons we’ve stayed with some of our more transactional businesses is that we needed their earnings to allow us to invest in emerging Internet businesses. Now that we have real scale in the pure Internet units, it makes nothing but sense to me to reorganize the whole. Each of these spun-off businesses is in fact a distinct business sector, and each will benefit from standing on its own, with its own capital structure, its own currency, which will enhance its ability to attract and retain superior talent and make acquisitions, and a focused story investors can clearly understand and buy into.”

Apart from IAC, here is what the other four companies will look like:

  • HSN will include the primary businesses currently comprising IAC’s Retailing segment, including HSN TV, HSN.com and the Cornerstone Brands Inc. catalogs, web sites and retail locations. Those include housewares and home furnishings multi-channel retailer Ballard Designs and window treatment web and catalog retailer Smith+Noble.
  • Ticketmaster will include its domestic and international operations including Admission.com, TicketService.com and other Ticketmaster investments such as social music discovery service iLike.com.
  • Interval International, an online time-share exchange, also will include CondoDirect.com and VacationSource.com.
  • Mortgage loan marketplace LendingTree also will include RealEstate.com and HomeLoanCenter.com.

Diller will continue as IAC’s chairman and CEO. Mindy Grossman, Sean Moriarty, C.D. Davies and Craig Nash will continue as CEOs of HSN, Ticketmaster, LendingTree and Interval, respectively, and Bret Violette will continue as president of RealEstate.com.

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