Photography Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Reuters
November 11, 2015

(Reuters) – Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp made an unsolicited bid to buy Angie’s List for about $512 million in cash, nearly a month after an activist investor urged the reviews website operator to explore strategic alternatives.

IAC’s $8.75 per share offer represents a premium of 10.5% to Angie’s stock’s closing price on Wednesday.

Shares of Angie’s List, which operates a website that allows users to review local businesses, were trading at $8.88 after market, indicating that investors were expecting a better offer.

IAC, which owns Investopedia, video-sharing website Vimeo and mobile dating app Tinder, said it was taking its offer public after failing to develop “meaningful dialogue” with Angie’s List for “many months”.

IAC (IACI) said it was also willing to consider a combination of Angie’s List with its HomeAdvisor business through a tax-free stock-for-stock exchange.

Angie’s List (ANGI) confirmed IAC’s takeover proposal, but asked its shareholders not to take action at this time.

TCS Capital Management, which revealed last month it owned about 9% of Angie’s List, had urged the company to combine with an industry player such as HomeAdvisor.

HomeAdvisor is an online marketplace for matching consumers with pre-screened home services professionals in the United States, as well as in France and the Netherlands.

Angie’s List has been losing market share and subscribers as it charges customers membership fees to access reviews and ratings on its site that Yelp (YELP), TripAdvisor and others provide for free.

The company is also facing new competition from the Google unit of Alphabet (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN), as well as upstarts such as Thumbtack.

Angie’s List, which named a former Best Buy executive as its CEO in September, has been shifting from its origins as an online review site to a marketplace that helps customers find everything from chimney sweepers to plumbers.

Up to Wednesday’s close, the company’s stock had risen about 37% since TCS Capital disclosed the stake.

BofA Merrill Lynch is financial adviser to Angie’s List, while Sidley Austin is providing legal advise.

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