BLOOMBERG - June 26 - IAC’s Match Group plans to to sell ~20% of its common stock this year. The sale could fetch $600M to $1.2B if 10% - 20% of the business is sold to the public, according to Cowen and Co., valuing the division at $6B or more. IAC bought Match.com in 2003. Meetic joined in 2009 along with People Media. In 2011, IAC spent $50M for OKCupid. In 2012 came Tinder which "gamified" the online dating process. "There’s a lot of people that just weren’t prepared to get onto Internet dating," says Mark Brooks, a dating-website analyst and consultant at Courtland Brooks. "Tinder warmed people up to the psychology that it’s not a dating site. Everybody is on it; it’s fun. That’s really the thrill ride here." But free and fun dating apps can be volatile, while cannibalizing customers from such paid services as Match.com, Brooks says. Last year, as the popularity of free-to-use Tinder grew, paid subscriptions at Match fell by ~100K in the Q4, compared with Q3. Now IAC is trying to make money out of Tinder.
by Alex Barinka
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