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IAC, Liberty forge a pact on spinoffs

May 14, 2008|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp and its controlling shareholder, John Malone's Liberty Media Corp., have reached an agreement on spinning off four of IAC's largest businesses, putting to rest a dispute that took the two top executives to court.

Liberty said Tuesday that it now backed a proposal by Diller that the spun-off IAC units operate under a single-tier share structure, a move that would dilute Liberty's control but, Diller contended, would make them more attractive to outside investors.

IAC plans to spin off its cable shopping network HSN, box office service Ticketmaster, time share exchange Interval and online mortgage business LendingTree. The remaining IAC will focus on its Internet media and ad businesses.

Liberty agreed to drop an appeal it filed last week of a Delaware court decision from late March over the spinoffs and said it would support IAC's proposed control structure for the units as independent entities.

A dispute over the spinoff plan had pitted IAC Chief Executive Diller against Liberty Chairman Malone, his longtime friend and business partner, in court.

"I am pleased that we were able to amicably resolve our dispute with IAC," Malone said in a statement.

Liberty owns about 30% of IAC but holds 62% voting control through a two-tier share structure.

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