If you walk into Barry Diller's ice cream parlor in a few months, you will finally have a say in the flavors you want to consume. The eclectic collection of properties that make up Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp
In short: Goodbye, vanilla.
It's about time, really. If an investor is pumped about the prospects of the Ask.com search engine, it never made sense to hogtie that buyer to the steady-yet-clunky Home Shopping Network or subprime-battered LendingTree. By the same token, if someone believes that the talent-driven transformation driving Live Nation
This isn't the first time that Diller has scooped out a sector. Expedia
So what are the five new flavors at Diller's scoop shop going to be?
- IAC, which will watch over the fast-growing Ask.com search engine and the social websites that include CitySearch, Match.com, and College Humor.
- Ticketmaster, which will rock on with its ticket sales here and abroad.
- HSN, which will keep the retail outlets hopping.
- LendingTree, which will complete the "out of favor" milkshake by taking on RealEstate.com.
- Interval International, which will watch over the vacation travel subsidiaries.
Investors should find what they like in any of the five standalone companies. The split will also give each company a little more breathing room. If a timely acquisition is out there, it won't just feel like one more jigsaw piece within an ever-growing puzzle. If Interval International wants to buy Travelzoo
Some of the appendages may not see the light of day. QVC parent Liberty Media Interactive
It's OK to speculate now. Everything is possible. Diller's scoop shop now has a menu of options. What it had before? Well, that was just bananas.
Ready for seconds?