IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) announced Thursday that it will spin off its dating segment, the Match Group, for an initial public offering. The group has a portfolio of popular dating services, including Match.com, OkCupid and dating app Tinder. Following the announcement, shares of IAC/InterActiveCorp jumped 4 percent to $80.70 on the Nasdaq.
Media conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp, which has a market value of $6 billion, also owns the video-sharing service Vimeo, and brands including the Daily Beast, Dictionary.com and CollegeHumor.
The New York-based company, chaired by billionaire Barry Diller, combined all of its dating services into a separate business 18 months ago, fueling speculation that it was planning to spin off the segment. This isn’t the first time IAC has spun off segments into publicly traded companies. The parent company separated travel service Expedia Inc. in 2005 and Ticketmaster in 2008.
Since then, Diller said, the Match Group has helped more than quadruple IAC's value in the last seven years.
“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," Diller said in a statement Thursday. “We want to take the step of offering the public the ability to own shares directly in this singular area of Internet activity."
The move will leave the original IAC with three segments: Search and applications, which includes brands such as About.com; media, which consists of businesses such as Vimeo; and e-commerce, which includes HomeAdvisor and ShoeBuy.
The Match Group includes OkCupid, Meetic, OurTime and Tinder, but it isn't all about hookups and matchmaking. It also operates two businesses outside the dating space: The Princeton Review and DailyBurn. There are nearly 50 brands, which are translated into nearly 40 languages and available in more than 200 countries across five continents, the company said.
The segment has more than 30 million active monthly users, and the number of paid subscribers surged 16 percent to 4 million in the first quarter of 2015, up from 3.47 million a year ago. The Match Group, which generates revenues through a combination of subscription, transaction and advertising models, posted sales of $239.2 million last quarter, up 13 percent from $211.2 million during the same period a year earlier.
IAC also announced that Joey Levin, formerly CEO of its search and applications business, has been named CEO of IAC and joined its board of directors. Sam Yagan will remain CEO of the Match Group and Greg Blatt will remain chairman.
IAC said it expects the Match Group to issue less than 20 percent of its shares in the IPO. The IPO is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.