Match Group Dating Brands Go Solo After 21 Years with IAC

MTCH started trading as a standalone company on Wednesday.

Match Group, the company behind more than 45 dating apps including Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid, PlentyofFish, Meetic, Our Time and Hinge, officially took their dating game solo. On Tuesday, Match Group officially separated from parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp, who had originally acquired the company in June 1999. By Wednesday, Match was trading on the NASDAQ as a standalone company under the symbol MTCH, reports the Dallas Morning News. IAC is expected to receive about $838 million cash from the deal. Sale of Match common shares could bring in as much as $1.4 billion.

“This is just the largest transaction at the core of our strategy throughout these 25 years,” said IAC chairman Barry Diller 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 decision to separate Match from IAC was mutually agreed upon by both companies’ boards in December, based on a recommendation by a special committee of disinterested directors.

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“Match Group is well on its way to standing completely on its own with a bright future in a big global market, and we’re excited to turn our attention to building the next generation of great companies,” said Joey Levin, IAC CEO, in a December 19 news release.

Then-CEO Mandy Ginsberg, who resigned in January, said, “We’ve grown up tremendously over the last 20 years as part of IAC, from an innovator in a nascent category to a global leader in a fast-growing market with millions of users all over the world. Match Group is in an incredibly strong position as we enter this transaction and we are ready for the next chapter of the company’s journey.”

Why invest in Match Group?

On its investor relations website, Match Groups offers a few reasons people should buy Match stock now:

  • The company owns 40+ dating products in more than 40 languages in 190 countries around the world.
  • As of March 31, 2020, Match had average subscribers totaling 9.9 million.
  • As of March 31, 2020, Match’s revenue for the last 12 months was $2.1 billion.
  • 60% of relationships that start on a dating site start with a Match Group product.
  • Tinder is the #1 downloaded dating app worldwide, according to AppAnnie, as of March 31, 2020.
  • Tinder is the #1 grossing app overall worldwide, per AppAnnie as of March 31, 2020.
Tinder is the #1 downloaded and top-grossing app, according to AppAnnie, as of March 31, 2020.

Actor Ryan Reynolds joins the board

In related news, Match added four new members to its board of directors, including Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, reports MarketWatch. Two current board members – Mark Stein and Gregg Winiarski – will step down.

“Most millennials and Gen Z can’t remember what dating was like before the advent of Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge,” said Reynolds. “These brands have enormous responsibility and opportunities to affect societies, all while embracing new technologies and remaining at the forefront of pop culture. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work with the team on their future growth and success.”

Other additions to the board include Stephen Bailey, the founder of Exec Online; Melissa Brenner, executive vice president for digital media for the NBA; and Wendi Murdoch, the co-founder of Artsy and a former wife of Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. who owns MarketWatch and publisher Dow Jones.

Pandemic hasn’t slowed Match down

Despite the pandemic, Match Group is optimistic about its company’s future. They are in it for the long haul, as evidenced by their 25 years in the dating market.

“We are confident that demand for human connection will never dissipate and remain committed to fulfilling that need. This period of social isolation could have been much more dire for single people – who no longer have other avenues to meet and connect such as bars and concerts – if not for our products,” said Shar Dube, CEO, in the company’s May 5, 2020 letter to shareholders.

Insider Take:

Match Group has had its ups and downs, including a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission for alleged deceptive and unfair business practices, but it has weathered them all over the last 25 years. They will survive the pandemic. In fact, they might even be stronger for it, as people yearn to meet face to face after months of isolation. We expect Match Group to be just as successful, if not more so, with the spinoff from IAC complete.