With IAC (NSDQ: IACI) having defeated Liberty in court, CEO Barry Diller’s spin plan can go through as planned. As such, said Diller: “What we’re not discussing is a so-called swap transaction with Liberty.” As I mentioned this morning, it’s been speculated that IAC could trade out HSN in order for Liberty to relinquish its grip. It’s still possible, but, said Diller: “It’s very unlikely.” As for progress on the spin, the IAC board met Monday to move forward, and it plans a series of meetings with investors and analysts to pitch the case for the spin. In terms of timing: “I would think we’re going to have one or two more board level discussions on this… we believe that we’ll get this done in the third quarter, hopefully the early part.” Some sort of filing on this will come this month.
— PE interest?: It’s been speculated in the past that some of the new spincos could be bought by a PE firm, but for now, Diller doesn’t see it happening: “We’ve had lots of discussions… lots of people knocking on the doors… The truth is is that we’re probably not going to do any of them… the best thing is simplicity.” But again, it’s still possible
— Queries: Not worried about query decline at Ask, as it’s been attributed to the decline in expensive marketing spend. Instead, the company is focusing on its core user base, which, it claims, is more engaged in the property.
— Pronto: The comparison shopping service is about at breakeven and should make money soon.
— Any future hurdles to spin?: Diller: “There’s nothing in our process that appears to us that it could cause a delay.”