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Diller: IAC Companies Better Off Under Breakup

David Faber|Anchor and Reporter
Monday, 5 Nov 2007 | 2:38 PM ET

Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp said Monday it plans to break up into five companies.

Barry Diller
Jennifer Graylock
Barry Diller

IAC plans to spin off HSN, which includes HSN TV and hsn.com; Ticketmaster; Interval International, which will include its CondoDirect unit; and LendingTree, which will include its RealEstate.com site.

Barry Diller will remain chairman and chief executive of IAC, which will include such Internet properties as Ask.com and Match.com.

Diller said the move is similar to one executed in August 2005, when IAC spun off a group of travel businesses operating under Expedia.

"Essentially we think each of these companies can be better standing alone than they are under the umbrella," he said on CNBC Monday afternoon.

The company also said Mindy Grossman, Sean Moriarty, CD Davies and Craig Nash will continue as chief executive of HSN, Ticketmaster, LendingTree and Interval, respectively.

The proposed spin-offs are expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2008.

IAC Spinoff
IAC splits but Barry Diller explains he will remain chairman & CEO, with CNBC's David Faber

Diller has been somewhat frustrated by having to explain the synergies tied to having these operating businesses together.

"We've been a complex enterprise almost from the very beginning 12 years ago, with hundreds of transactions over those years," Diller said in a statement.

"And while we've created a lot of value, 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," the CEO added.

"Now that we have real scale in the pure Internet units, it makes nothing but sense to me to reorganize the whole," Diller continued.

He said separating the businesses would make them easier for investors to understand and put them in a better position to hire talent and buy other companies.

"Each of these companies is going to be in its own position to set its own destiny, not tethered to any so-to-speak home ship," Diller said.

IAC shareholders will own 100 percent of the equity in all five companies.

Diller said he is unsure of what his involvement will be with the various companies in the spinoff, though he said he is likely to "play some role" in one or two of them that he declined to identify.

Google Deal Announced

IAC/InterActiveCorp also said on Monday it reached a deal to have Googleas its sponsored listing provider for the next five years.

IAC said the transaction with the No. 1 Internet search engine would be worth "in excess" of $3.5 billion to it.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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