Barry Diller goes it alone, and he’s fine with that

April 30, 2008

bd.jpgCall it the new simplicity. IAC’s businesses are better off on their own in the market than trying to work with a strategic partner, according to chief mogul Barry Diller.
Recently empowered by a court decision that says he can do what he wants with IAC with little limitation from controlling shareholder Liberty Media, Diller said today a plan to spin off four major IAC units probably won’t involve any partners and that he was on track to complete the separation in August. 

Here’s his comments from a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings. We’re wondering how much of this may still be a negotiating position, or should we expect to see one big IAC, and four little IACs, trading on the Nasdaq before Thanksgiving: 

What we’re not discussing is the possibility of a so-called swap transaction with Liberty. While the potential for such a deal exists just by the nature of our relationship, I think it’s very unlikely that one will occur. 
Relative to private equity, we’ve had lots of discussions, we have lots of people knocking on the door and coming in and talking about different schemes and ideas. The truth is as we go through this, I think we’re not probably going to do any of them. I think that the best thing to do is simplicity. We may do one or some modified thing but I don’t think we’re going to do anything that would particularly engage (the) private equity world. 
The best thing is to get these companies spun out and to get them into the public markets, get their managements out there, so to speak, and taking care of their own businesses and talking to the investment community. I think that’s probably the better step forward for us at this point. 

For those watching at home, Liberty was mulling a swap for IAC’s HSN shopping channel, or maybe a smaller asset. Firms such as Quadrangle and Elevation Partners were also among the parties who have discussed taking a stake in another IAC unit.

(Photo: Reuters)

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