IAC plans to take its dating businesses Match.com and Tinder public

Growth in dating brands Tinder, OKCupid and Match.com could lead to IPO

The parent company that owns dating brands Tinder, Match.com and OKCupid wants to play the field.

IAC/InterActiveCorp said Thursday it’s planning an initial public offering for its online dating business, The Match Group.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post carried an incorrect headline that said IAC was spinning off its dating business.

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IAC expects to issue less than 20% of its common stock in the offering, which could be completed during the fourth quarter of this year, IAC said in a release.

The Match Group consists of 50 brands and grew 11% last year to reach revenues of $897 million. The company as a whole grew 3% during the same period.

“With the transaction, [The Match Group] will be able to unlock value, a topic that has been in the forefront with the dating business for the last 2-3 years,” John Blackledge, an analyst at Cowen and Co., wrote in a note to clients. “Match is a market leader in a growing category and should have solid currency with investors.”

Greg Blatt, chairman of The Match Group, said the marriage of established brands with up-and-coming ones would help the company expand.

“The Match Group is poised for substantial growth in the coming years,” Blatt said. “The dating industry has come a long way since its inception, but the category remains underpenetrated. We believe the combination of our more established businesses such as Match, Meetic and OurTime, and earlier stage businesses such as Tinder and OKCupid, creates an attractive combination of significant cash flow generation, strong margins and meaningful growth potential.”  

Among the hottest companies in the group is West Hollywood’s Tinder, a hook-up app that recently hit 8 billion matches, according to company founder Sean Rad.

The company launched a premium service in March in hopes of converting millions of users into paid subscribers. Known as Tinder Plus, the feature allows users to “rewind” if they accidently reject a potential date.

The New York-based IAC is run by media mogul Barry Diller. The company also owns Internet brands such as Vimeo, College Humor and About.com.

IAC also announced Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Kip was resigning to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.

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