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Barry Diller's IAC Plans to Spin Off Its Match and Tinder Business in an IPO

Wanna invest in Tinder? Now you can.

Asa Mathat

Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC, will spin off the company’s online dating business into a separate publicly traded company by the end of the year.

The company’s Match Group, which owns, Tinder and OKCupid, plans to issue less than 20 percent of its shares in the offering, with IAC holding the rest, according to a company release.

IAC, Diller’s holding company, once housed various Internet businesses including CitySearch and Expedia, and Diller himself, who used to head up Fox and built that network from an also-ran into one of the most-watched TV channels, has typically sold or spun off its units, so this isn’t unusual or unexpected.

In fact, if you look closely at IAC’s balance sheet you can see why an investor would prefer to park his or her money in only its dating business. The Match Group’s revenue is rising faster than any of Diller’s other businesses, gaining 11 percent last year to $897 million.

For comparison, IAC’s Search group, which owns, fell 1 percent, its e-commerce business had a 3 percent rise in sales and the Media group, which includes Vimeo, dropped 5 percent.

But even then it may be a little late to hit the markets — Match’s sales growth has started to slow and its profit is slipping. Match Group’s Ebitda, or earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization, fell 1 percent to $264 million last year, though that was related in part to its acquisition of Princeton Review. Yup, that Princeton Review, the test-prep company. It’s not entirely clear why Diller incorporated it into the dating business, but the company line is they both sell services directly to the consumer.

As part of the spinoff, Joey Levin, the CEO of its search business, has been named CEO of IAC and will join its board. Greg Blatt stays chairman of the Match Group with Sam Yagan as CEO.

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