BUSINESS

Owner Of Match.com, Tinder And OKCupid Is Preparing To Go Public

06/25/2015 09:28 EDT | Updated 06/25/2016 05:59 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Match.com and Tinder are looking for a Wall Street hookup as their parent group prepares to establish them as a separate, publicly traded company.

IAC/InteractiveCorp, which is controlled by billionaire Barry Diller, has approved a proposal for an initial public offering.

Diller said Thursday that it's "healthy" to give companies "independence from a mother church."

He laid the groundwork for the IPO two years ago when he formed the Match Group, which also includes OKCupid, Chemistry.com and other dating sites and apps.

IAC said it expects the Match Group to issue less than 20 per cent of its shares in the IPO. That means IAC will still be majority owned by its parent. The IPO is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

The Match Group had revenue of $239.2 million in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 13 per cent from a year earlier.

With the IPO, "Match will be able to unlock value, a topic that has been in the forefront with the dating business for the last 2-3 years," said Cowen and Co. analyst John Blackledge in a note to investors. He added that Match is a leader in the growing category and the IPO could help both it and IAC pursue new acquisitions, "nurture them over time and create further shareholder value." This, he noted, has been IAC's playbook for the past two decades.

Separately, New York-based IAC also named Joey Levin as its CEO. IAC has not had a CEO since 2013.

IAC shares jumped $3.54, or 4.6 per cent, to $80.80 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares are up 17 per cent over the past year.

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