IAC/InteractiveCorp. (IACI) and Liberty Media Corp. announced an asset swap in which Liberty Media gave up its controlling voting power in the Internet-property operator for $220 million and the business that owns Evite and Gifts.com.
The assets will be attributed to Liberty Interative (LINTA, LINTB).
Liberty Media held 60% voting power in IAC/Interactive, whose other holdings include Ask.com and Match.com. IAC Chairman and Chief Executive Barry Diller is now the company's largest owner with a 34% voting stake. That could rise to 41% as he was granted the right to swap up to 1.5 million common shares for Class B stock.
Diller and Liberty Chairman John Malone have been business partners since 1993. But the relationship became strained in recent years, with Liberty in early 2008 moving to push out Diller in the wake of a plan to break up IAC. That breakup did occur.
Meanwhile, it was also disclosed Thursday that Diller is giving up the CEO post to Match.com chief Greg Blatt.
"It's been clear to me for some time that this company needs a full time aggressive and aspirational executive in the CEO role," said Diller. "While I'm not going anywhere, IAC, with its operating businesses growing, large cash resources and virtually no debt, needs the kind of leadership that Greg Blatt can bring it." The 42-year-old started running Match.com in February 2009.
Shares of IAC and Liberty Interactive were inactive premarket.
-By Kevin Kingsbury; Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2354; email@example.com