In all, IAC is spinning off four units, Ticketmaster, the shopping network HSN, loan division Lending Tree and travel resource Interval International. The company is retaining many of its popular internet brands, including Ask.com, Match.com, Gifts.com, Citysearch, Evite, CollegeHumor and ShoeBuy.
The move comes at a time when Ticketmaster is fending off increased competition in the primary ticketing arena, and as it continues to slowly ramp up its secondary ticketing options. In addition, the company is preparing for life after Live Nation ends it relationship with company in 2008. Ticketmaster is the nation’s largest ticketing company, according to TicketNews’ exclusive rankings.
Barry Diller, Chairman and CEO of IAC, said in a statement that he believes Ticketmaster is “entering the most dynamic era in its history and its ability to participate fully (with its own currency) in shaping the live entertainment industry is critical.” Ticketmaster will retain the following components among others, Admission.com, Biletix, Billetnet, BillettService, Cottonblend, Echomusic, Kartenhaus.de, Lippupalvelu, LiveDaily, TicketService, Tick Tack Ticket, TicketWeb and Ticnet.se, and its current investments in Frontline and iLike.
Diller amassed the internet and media giant for more than a decade, but 2007 has not been kind to it as the company’s stock value had dropped about 20 percent, according to published reports. News of the spin-off strategy, expected to be completed in about a year, helped give the stock a healthy bump upwards in early trading today.
“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 in a statement.
“One of the reasons we’ve stayed with some of our more transactional businesses is that we needed their earnings to allow us to invest in emerging Internet businesses. Now that we have real scale in the pure Internet units, it makes nothing but sense to me to reorganize the whole. Each of these spun-off businesses is in fact a distinct business sector, and each will benefit from standing on its own, with its own capital structure, its own currency which will enhance its ability to attract and retain superior talent and make acquisitions, and a focused story investors can clearly understand and buy into,” he added.