Ticketmaster To Go Solo

IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet conglomerate run by media mogul Barry Diller, said Monday it will break itself into five publicly-traded businesses.

The announcement drove IAC’s shares up more than 7 percent.

The New York-based company said its HSN home shopping network, Ticketmaster ticketing service, Interval time-share business and LendingTree mortgage referral units would be spun off.

Its other assets — including the Ask.com search engine, Match.com, Evite, Citysearch and Excite — would remain as part of IAC, it said in a statement.

Diller will continue as CEO of the Internet business.

"We’ve been a complex enterprise almost from the very beginning 12 years ago, with hundreds of transactions over those years," Diller said in a statement.

"And while we’ve created a lot of value, I’ve always believed our complexity and many mouthfuls of sentences to explain who we are and what our strategy is have hampered clarity and understanding with all our constituencies, particularly investors," he said.

IAC will keep substantially all the company’s cash, and IAC shareholders will own 100 percent of the equity in all five companies. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of next year, the company said.

Diller said IAC had stuck with its more "transactional businesses" because they generated revenue that IAC invested in the Internet businesses. He said the growth of the online-only units now warranted independence.

"Each of these spun-off business is in fact a distinct business sector, and each will benefit from standing on its own," he said.

Among other initiatives, the company recently relaunched its iWon.com online games Web site and its Pronto.com shopping Web site as well as promoting Zwinktopia, a virtual reality site for children.

Diller has also indicated he will invest more in online content creation, an area that IAC has pursued with CollegeHumor as well as through a partnership with The Huffington Post.

"If I ever could think about when there is a better time to start the program business of the Internet, it is literally this second," Diller said in January.

Diller said last week that HSN, which had been struggling from internal difficulties as new management changed the merchandise mix, was well on its way to a recovery.

IAC shares rose $2.15, or 7.3 percent, to $31.77 in midmorning trading.