Mogul Barry Diller has stepped
down as CEO of IAC. At the same time, John Malone's Liberty Media announced
a transaction disposing of its entire equity stake in IAC for a combination of
$220 million and assets including Evite and Gifts.com.
Diller, who swapped about 4.3
million shares of his IAC common stock for the same number of shares of IAC
Class B common stock held by Liberty, remains the largest individual
shareholder of the company, with about 34% of the total voting rights. He also
has the right, and said he intends to, purchase additional shares over the next
nine months that would increase is voting share to more than 40%.
The company said Greg Blatt,
who has been CEO of its Match.com unit since early 2009, has become CEO of IAC.
"It's been clear to me for
some time that this Company needs a full time aggressive and aspirational
executive in the CEO role. While I'm not going anywhere, IAC, with
its operating businesses growing, large cash resources and virtually no debt,
needs the kind of leadership that Greg Blatt can bring it in order to continue
to grow and thrive many years into the future," said. Diller in a
"These last 17 years of
my association with John Malone and Liberty Media have been a great, and
occasionally, wild ride. We began this grand tour of interactivity a few years
before the internet became widely used, and we were able to create, acquire and
build up substantial businesses over that time," Diller added.
"The one constant throughout IAC's history has been
change," said. Blatt, who joined IAC as general counsel five years ago
from Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia. "While I expect that to
continue, we intend for the same emphasis on consistent operating performance
and disciplined deployment of capital that have defined our recent quarters to
guide our decision-making and management as we grow IAC into the future.
Our businesses are on solid footing, and our healthy balance sheet and
strong operating cash flows put us in a great position to drive solid
shareholder returns for the foreseeable future. I couldn't be more
excited about the new position and the opportunities in front of IAC."
As for Liberty, Malone said that "our
17-year relationship with Barry has been very beneficial in creating value for
our shareholders, and this transaction represents an efficient exit for Liberty
from our IAC stake. We will continue to work together through Expedia and
various other public vehicles created from our association."
Malone added that "we are pleased to welcome Evite
and Gifts.com to Liberty Interactive's eCommerce companies. These companies are
established leaders and build on our strength in specialty commerce."
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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