DALLAS >> Match Group is taking its more than 45 dating brands — including Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge — and striking out on its own.
The Dallas-based dating group formally separated from its former media conglomerate parent company, New York-based IAC/InterActiveCorp, today. Barry Diller-led IAC, which owns Vimeo, Angie’s List and Care.com, filed plans in December to spin off Match Group.
On Wednesday, Match started trading as a standalone company on the NASDAQ under the symbol MTCH, while IAC is trading on the same stock exchange under the symbol IAC.
Match shares fell 0.31% to $105.67 on Wednesday, while IAC shares climbed 3.6% to $106.71.
As part of the separation agreement, Match’s dual-class structure was eliminated and IAC’s interest in Match Group was transferred to IAC shareholders. IAC, previously a majority owner of Match, received $838 million in cash upon the completion of the deal. The sale of Match common shares is expected to bring in an additional $1.4 billion.
Match Group, which has about 1,500 employees, started as Match.com in 1995. Four years later, it was acquired by IAC and went public in 2015.
IAC has a history of acquiring businesses, growing them and then spinning them off. With a market capitalization — or the total value of its shares — adding up to $30 billion, Match Group is the biggest company IAC has split with in its 25-year history.
“This is just the largest transaction at the core of our strategy,” IAC Chairman Barry Diller said in a statement. “Be opportunistic, be balance sheet conservative, build up enterprises and when they deserve independence let them have it. Be a conglomerate and an anti-conglomerate, a business model that has been unique to us.”
The separation gives Match greater flexibility and includes the addition of four well-known faces to its board of directors: actor Ryan Reynolds, known for playing the title character in superhero film Deadpool; investor Wendi Murdoch, former wife of media magnate Rupert Murdoch; Melissa Brenner, senior vice president of digital media for the NBA; and Stephen Bailey, CEO of ExecOnline, which provides online leadership development programs.
“Match Group’s impressive portfolio of brands allows them to operate around the world, in countries with very different social customs, attitudes towards dating and user behavior,” Murdoch said in a statement. “But these products are still in their infancy in many parts of the world, and I’m excited to be a part of the team that is so focused on accelerating this adoption on a global basis.”
Golden Globe nominee Reynolds said he’s ready to help the company embrace new technologies.
“Most millennials and Gen Z can’t remember what dating was like before the advent of Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge,” he said in a statement.
Stockholders at both companies agreed to the separation during meetings held June 25.
Match Group shareholders will receive one share of the new Match stock and either $3 in cash or a fraction of a share of the new Match stock with a $3 value. IAC shareholders are entitled to one share of the new IAC stock and 2.1584 shares of the new Match stock.
For the first three months of the year, Match reported revenue of $544.6 million. For 2019, Match Group brought in more than $2 billion in revenue, an 18% climb from 2018.
In January, former Match Group president Shar Dubey stepped into the role of CEO at the company, replacing Mandy Ginsberg, 50, who left due to challenges in her personal life.