TECH CRUNCH - July 2 - Previously, Match Group was a publicly-traded company, with digital holding company IAC as its majority shareholder. Last year, the companies announced a plan that would see IAC's ownership of Match distributed to IAC's shareholders - a plan that is now completed. The separation also involves a leadership change, with Mark Stein and Gregg Winiarski stepping down from the Match Group board. The company has four new board members: ExecOnline CEO Stephen Bailey, the NBA's executive president for digital media Melissa Brenner, investor and entrepreneur Wendi Murdoch and actor Ryan Reynolds. Shar Dubey will continue to serve as Match Group's CEO, a position she took at the beginning of this year, while Joey Levin remains a both IAC's CEO and Match Group's executive chairman.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - July 1 - With social distancing recommendations and laws in effect across the country, meeting people online and developing relationships virtually has never been more popular. Georgia Wells, WSJ's technology reporter and Mark Brooks, CEO of the Courtland Brooks consultancy-agency explore what this shift means for the future of online dating.
SEEKING ALPHA - July 1 - That means today, "new" IAC will trade under the IAC symbol, and "new" Match Group under its MTCH symbol. Match Group's dual-class voting structure has been eliminated, and the interest in Match Group that used to be held by IAC is now held directly by IAC shareholders. Specifically, IAC shareholders received one share of "new" IAC common stock and 2.1584 shares of "new" Match Group for each share of IAC common stock held. And IAC received $838M of cash, representing $3/share of Match Group stock previously held. IAC expects to receive an additional $1.4B from the sale of shares of New Match, set to close later today.
THE REAL DEAL - June 30 - As Match Group breaks up with IAC, the dating service is moving into new digs in the Meatpacking District. The company has agreed to lease space at Aurora Capital Associates and William Gottlieb Real Estate's 60-74 Gansevoort Street. Match is taking roughly 45K square feet on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors.
INVESTORPLACE - June 30 - Blind dating gets a modern upgrade, making MEET stock a potential winner even amid the pandemic. The Meet Group has recently announced the rollout of an interactive game known as Blind Date. This will be an addition to The Meet Group's popular NextDate game, which "is like speed dating, except that there's an audience and the contestant gets to choose the specific people they'd like to connect with," according to CEO Geoff Cook. The Blind Date game will be integrated into The Meet Group's MeetMe, Skout, and Tagged. It will also be integrated into Match Group's Plenty of Fish. Blind Date should serve to increase user engagement. MEET stock could easily reclaim its former high point as the company's innovative spirit could bring people back into the dating game again.
FORBES - June 29 - Tinder is now the number one downloaded dating app worldwide, while products like OkCupid and PlentyofFish make up Match's 9.9M paid users up from 4M in 2015. The Spinoff of Diller's 80% stake in Match could not have come at a better time for the dating app company, as it expertly morphs into video dating. If successful, it will roll out its new-era live camera dates across the group's brands, as singles' desire for interaction grows. The transaction will allow IAC to clean its balance sheet by transferring all debt (~$1.9B) to the Spinoff and end up holding $2.9B in cash. Currently, Diller and his family collectively own a 6.9% stake in IAC. His personal economic stake in MTCH ensures that he has an incentive to keep the company’s growth prospects intact. With a ~5% stake post-Spin (considering a distribution ratio of ~2.37x), a large portion of his net worth will be tied to MTCH.
PRESS RELEASE - June 23 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive dating solutions, has released Blind Date, a new interactive game rolled out to The Meet Group's MeetMe, Skout, and Tagged mobile apps, as well as Match Group's Plenty of Fish. The new feature will allow users to meet and date through a timed video chat that is based on personality rather than appearance. "A recent survey of MeetMe users found that 91% of members wish that dating was more focused on personality, and 77% would chat with someone before seeing what they looked like," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "We are seeing that our members value personality over attractiveness, and with Blind Date, they are given the opportunity to chat first and gain a sense of who they are connecting with."
AXIOS - June 22 - Match Group has issued a statement criticizing Apple's 30% take on App Store purchases. The move comes the same day that the European Union announced an antitrust investigation into Apple's practices. Match Group has been in touch with regulators about its concerns, a source told Axios.
FINANCIAL TIMES - June 18 - According to Sharmistha Dubey, the new CEO of Match Group, online dating has exploded, with the average number of daily messages sent across all of Match's platforms increasing ~30% in April, compared with the end of February. In particular, users are taking advantage of new video chat features in many of Match's flagship apps that allow them to go on virtual dates without leaving their houses. After taking an initial dive earlier this year due to the pandemic, Match Group shares have now fully recovered and are currently nearing all-time highs at around $92.
SEEKING ALPHA - June 13 - Match Group and Bumble say they've settled all litigation between the two. They're not disclosing any more information, but say they're both "pleased with the amicable resolution." Match had accused Bumble of patent infringement in March 2018, and has been accusing Bumble of "exploiting" the COVID-19 crisis to delay the lawsuit for tactical advantage.
NICKI SWIFT - June 12 - Steve Harvey is a man of many talents: he's a comedian, talk show host, game show host, author, and businessman. And in 2009, he wrote a book titled - Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, introducing himself as an expert in the dating and romance scene. In 2014, Steve Harvey launched Delightful, an online dating site in partnership with Match Group. Delightful's slogan, "Find love and keep it", is how the site branded itself. Delightful contains lots of advice and insight from Steve Harvey.
SEEKING ALPHA - June 11 - IAC and Match Group have set a deadline for Match stockholders to choose their form of compensation for Match's separation from IAC. They'll need to choose by 5 p.m. NYC time on June 18. If the deal is completed, each Match stockholder will be able to receive for each share: one share of common stock in "New Match," and either $3 in cash, or a fraction of a share with a value of $3.
SEEKING ALPHA - June 9 - IAC has set agreements with a number of third-party investors for the sale of 17M Class M shares (at $82/share) of Match Group, in connection with the two companies' pending separation. The completion of that deal would change the Class M shares into common stock of the post-split Match.