After years of speculation, IAC has announced plans to spin off The Match Group.
Today, the company said that the board of directors has approved the IPO of The Match Group, which owns dating products including Match.com, OkCupid, Meetic and Tinder.
When it goes public, Sam Yagan will remain as CEO of The Match Group, and Greg Blatt will continue to be Chairman.
IAC expect to complete the IPO during the fourth quarter of 2015.
Speaking about the decision, IAC’s Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller said: “As many know from our actions over the last 20 years, I’m not a believer in simply agglomerating assets in perpetuity. I’ve long felt that as entities grow into size and maturity it’s healthy to give them separation and independence from a mother church.
“Over the last two decades, IAC and its progeny have grown into seven separate public companies with a current shareholder value of over $44 billion — given that we started with a base of $275 million, it’s a more than satisfactory record. As part of this evolution, in 2008 we spun off four companies simultaneously, leaving us with a much smaller IAC.
“Since that time we’ve grown the Company substantially, more than quadrupling the Company’s value, with The Match Group leading the way — and so now, under the superb leadership of Greg Blatt and Sam Yagan, we want to take the step of offering the public the ability to own shares directly in this singular area of Internet activity.”
IAC expects The Match Group to issue less than 20% of its common stock in the IPO, with IAC’s remaining stake in The Match Group represented by both high and low-vote common shares.
With the move, the conglomerate also announced that former CEO of the Search & Applications business, Joey Levin, would be named CEO of IAC, and would join the board of directors.
In addition to this, the CFO of IAC, Jeff Kip, will be resigning from the company to spend more time with his family.
Chairman of The Match Group, Greg Blatt, said: “The Match Group is poised for substantial growth in the coming years. The dating industry has come a long way since its inception, but the category remains underpenetrated.
“We believe the combination of our more established businesses such as Match, Meetic, and OurTime, and earlier stage businesses such as Tinder and OkCupid, creates an attractive combination of significant cash flow generation, strong margins and meaningful growth potential. “
In its Q1 2015 report, IAC revealed that general revenue increased by 4% compared to last year, from $740.2m to $772.5m.
For The Match Group, total revenue increased 13% compared to last year, rising from $211.2m to $239.2m.
The move by IAC has long been rumoured, considering Blatt’s history of spinning off successful products – such as Expedia – and with the continued growth of The Match Group as a group portfolio.
IAC’s shares were up 7% pre-market before the announcement was made.
We will update with more details as the story develops.