Ask.com parent InterActiveCorp is splitting itself up. After years of touting the importance of "synergy" between its partner companies, IAC Chairman and CEO Barry Diller has gotten permission from the board of directors to split the business five ways.
IAC has acquired several companies in the last few years, and Diller explains that things are getting too complicated to explain to investors:
"We've been a complex enterprise almost from the very beginning 12 years ago, with hundreds of transactions over those years. 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,” Diller said.
IAC will divide its businesses among the five sectors it is involved in:
- IAC, which will include:
- The businesses currently comprising its Media & Advertising sector: Ask.com, Bloglines, Citysearch, CursorMania, IAC Advertising Solutions, Evite, Excite, InsiderPages, iWon, My Fun Cards, My Way, Popular Screensavers, Smiley Central, Webfetti and Zwinky
- Match.com, ServiceMagic, Shoebuy.com, Entertainment Publications and ReserveAmerica
- The businesses currently comprising its Emerging Businesses sector: Black Web Enterprises, BustedTees, CollegeHumor, GarageGames, Gifts.com, Green.com, InstantAction, Primal Ventures, Pronto, Very Short List, Vimeo and 23/6
- IAC's current investments in Active.com, Brightcove, FiLife, Medem, MerchantCircle, OpenTable, Points.com and SHOP Channel.
- HSN, which will include the primary businesses currently comprising IAC's Retailing segment, including HSN TV, hsn.com, and the Cornerstone Brands, Inc. portfolio of catalogs, web sites and retail locations, including Alsto's, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, GrandinRoad, Improvements, Isabella Bird, Smith+Noble, The Territory Ahead and TravelSmith
- Ticketmaster, which will include its domestic and international operations including Admission.com, Biletix, Billetnet, BillettService, Cottonblend, Echomusic, Kartenhaus.de, Lippupalvelu, LiveDaily, TicketService, Tick Tack Ticket, TicketWeb and Ticnet.se, as well as Ticketmaster's current investments in Frontline and iLike
- Interval International, which will also include CondoDirect, Resort Quest Hawaii and VacationSource.com
- LendingTree, which will also include RealEstate.com, Domania, GetSmart, Home Loan Center and iNest.
IAC already spun off Expedia two years ago.
IAC will retain substantially all of the company's cash and Diller will continue as its chairman and CEO of IAC.
ClickZ News has coverage of Diller's comments during a press conference call.