Why Investors Love the IAC and Match Group Breakup

December 19, 2019, 11:23 PM UTC

This is one breakup that Wall Street is cheering.

IAC, which owns a variety of online companies such as Handy, Vimeo, and The Daily Beast, outlined its plan for breaking up from Match Group, which includes dating sites like Match, Tinder, and Hinge. While both IAC and Match Group have separately-traded stocks, Match is still a part of IAC and accounts nearly half of its parent company’s revenue.

Shares of IAC finished the day up more than 7%, trading at $237.54. Match Group shares also spiked more than 7%, closing at $76.76.

IAC owns an 80.4% stake in Match, according to a June regulatory filing.

Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer and director of research at Tigress Financial Partners, tells Fortune that it was simply the right time for Match to part ways with IAC. Or to put it in relationship-speak, Match had simply outgrown the relationship.

“Match continues to grow very strongly, specifically from its various other dating site subscriptions and advertising revenue,” Feinseth says. “I believe both stocks are also up because Barry Diller has shown a successful history of incubating and spinning off companies,” referring to IAC’s chairman, who has previously split off Expedia, Ticketmaster, HSN, and LendingTree.

The latest separation is expected to close by the end of the second quarter in 2020. As part of the deal, IAC shareholders will receive new Match shares, and will also be able to swap their old IAC shares for new ones.

It seems there’s no love lost. IAC confirmed in October that it had sent a proposal to Match’s board to approve the split. By going their separate ways, IAC will be able to “pursue new opportunities” and enable management to “focus on undervalued assets within IAC,” according to a statement released by IAC to investors on Thursday.

Match, meanwhile, “will benefit from increased strategic flexibility, enhanced trading liquidity, and the eligibility for index inclusion,” according to the statement.

Diller added: “We’ve long said IAC is the ‘anti-conglomerate’ – we’re not empire builders. We’ve always separated out our businesses as they’ve grown in scale and maturity and soon Match Group.”

All said, his IAC “progeny” is collectively worth $58 billion, he says.

While both IAC and Match are in the unusual position of being intertwined but separately traded, the split is still notable since it comes during a time when tech and media continue to consolidate. But Feinseth says breakups can be healthy.

“Usually spin offs or separating companies does unlock value for each company to be measured on their own specific attributes and growth,” he says.

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