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  • Sun, Apr. 17, 8:56 PM
    • With tomorrow's deadline arriving for bidders for core assets of Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), the long-shot bid of Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) won't be among them, as the company decided fixing the business was too big a task, The Wall Street Journal reports. (It would have also faced severe leveraging trying to swallow the business.)
    • With a number of bidders bowing out as expected, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is indeed a front-runner among the few firms moving forward. Aligning somewhat with a number of other media reports (and rumors), now bowing out for sure are Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE:T) and IAC/InteractiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC), the Journal says.
    • It appears Verizon's biggest competition may come from private equity (Bain Capital, TPG, Advent International), reinforcing the strength of Verizon's bid. It was unclear whether KKR would stay in the bidding, and the Daily Mail (OTCPK:DMTGY) may still be in, but with P-E help.
    • Now read Why Verizon Is The Clear Front-Runner To Buy Yahoo »
    | Sun, Apr. 17, 8:56 PM | 47 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 3, 7:30 PM
    • Shortly after Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) confirmed it's exploring "additional strategic alternatives" while pushing ahead with a reverse spinoff of its core business, the FT reports Bain, TPG, and other P-E firms are weighing potential bids for core Yahoo. The paper adds AT&T (NYSE:T) and InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) "are also believed to be examining the company."
    • Many firms are expected to make full or partial bids for core Yahoo. CFO Ken Goldman: "A number of companies have said they want to look at us, and there are a number of private equity firms that are interested in looking at us. I’m not saying that we’ve received offers ... I’m saying parties have expressed interest in us. And what we’re saying is that we’ll be open [to] that.”
    • Re/code's Kara Swisher reports Yahoo has hired well-known tech i-banker Frank Quattrone to help it explore options; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are already on the payroll. "It is clear to us that what is happening inside is very dysfunctional," says an unnamed major investor talking to Swisher.
    • Meanwhile, with a sale effort and job cuts already expected, Yahoo fell below $28 in regular trading following its Q4 report and myriad of job cut, writedown, and strategic review announcements. Weak guidance may have weighed: Yahoo guided in its earnings slides (.pdf) for Q1 GAAP revenue of $1.05B-$1.09B and 2016 revenue of $4.4B-$4.6B, below consensus estimates of $1.14B and $4.78B.

      2016 ex-TAC revenue guidance of $3.4B-$3.6B is below 2015 ex-TAC revenue of $4.09B, which itself was below 2014's $4.4B. Non-GAAP op. income is  expected to drop to $150M-$250M from 2015's $342M and 2014's $755M.
    • Also of note: 1) $230M of Yahoo's $4.46B goodwill writedown was related to the $1.1B Tumblr acquisition. On the earnings call (transcript), Yahoo disclosed Tumblr failed to hit the company's $100M 2015 revenue target. 2) Along with everything else, Yahoo has begun exploring the sale of "non-strategic assets" such as patents and real estate. It estimates such sales could yield $1B-$3B in cash by year's end.
    • Prior Yahoo coverage
    | Wed, Feb. 3, 7:30 PM | 21 Comments
  • Dec. 9, 2015, 12:41 PM
    • With the Match Group IPO taken care of and having yielded ~$400M in proceeds, InterActiveCorp (IACI -1.4%) has created IAC Publishing, a unit that contains About.com, The Daily Beast, Dictionary.com, Investopedia, and other online media assets. Doug Leeds, formerly Ask.com's chief, is the division's CEO.
    • IAC asserts its online media properties reach 100M+ U.S. monthly unique users, and that the restructuring will give the properties more flexibility to expand and tap each others' R&D and ad resources. Publishing will also contain "a labs division focused on accelerating growth for its portfolio of websites and incubating new digital publishing sites in emerging verticals."
    • Leeds tells the WSJ making acquisitions "is 100% part" of Publishing's strategy. Sources talking with the WSJ, meanwhile, state IAC "would be interested in exploring a possible acquisition of core Internet properties."
    • The WSJ recently called IAC one of the companies that would "likely explore a purchase" of Yahoo's core Internet assets if they were on sale. However, Yahoo stated today its board hasn't yet signed off on a sale effort.
    | Dec. 9, 2015, 12:41 PM
  • Dec. 2, 2015, 1:44 PM
    • At least three unnamed P-E firms have explored buying Yahoo's (YHOO +6.5%) core Internet business in recent months, the FT reports. No formal talks have been held.
    • The paper joins the WSJ in reporting Yahoo's board is exploring the sale of the core business this week amid tax concerns regarding the planned Alibaba stake spinoff. The business, pressured by display ad share loss and tough search competition from Google/Bing, had 2014 revenue (ex-TAC) $4.4B and op. income of $755M. Thanks in part to the restructuring of the Microsoft search deal, Q3 revenue fell 8% Y/Y to $1B.
    • Re/code, for its part, downplays the WSJ's report. Though it says Yahoo's board will mull the status of the Alibaba spinoff following pressure from Starboard Value to sell the core business instead, it adds the spinoff remains set for early January for the time being, and that a CEO has been selected.
    • The site also states Yahoo, which was recently reported to have hired McKinsey to help decide which businesses to keep/shutter, plans to "unload a number of units and cut resources to others also remaining in place."
    • Yahoo remains sharply higher in response to the WSJ's report. Shares are still down 29% YTD.
    • Update: Sources tell the WSJ Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) are among the companies that would "likely explore a purchase" of core Yahoo. P-E firm TPG Capital has reportedly "looked at buying media properties within Yahoo."
    | Dec. 2, 2015, 1:44 PM | 12 Comments
  • Nov. 17, 2015, 7:50 AM
    • Believing IAC/InterActive's (NASDAQ:IACI) $8.75 bid dramatically undervalues the company, the Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI) board decides now's not the time to pursue a deal.
    • CEO Scott Durchslag says the board and shareholders should have time to digest the company's Profitable Growth Plan and decide on what it might mean for the company's valuation before considering a sale.
    • ANGI -4.8% to $9.36 premarket
    • Previously: Angie's List now 12% above IAC's offer price; HomeAdvisor partners with Google (Nov. 13)
    | Nov. 17, 2015, 7:50 AM | 7 Comments
  • Nov. 13, 2015, 2:31 PM
    • Following today's rally, Angie's List (ANGI +8.8%) is well above the $8.75/share buyout offer price InterActiveCorp (IACI +0.2%) disclosed on Wednesday afternoon, as markets bet IAC's offer will simply prove an opening bid.
    • IAC, whose equity value is tied in large part to soon-to-be-public Match Group, hasn't moved much since the offer was disclosed. Reactions to the bid have mostly been positive, with analysts trumpeting cost synergies between Angie's List and IAC's HomeAdvisor unit and the potential for lower marketing spend post-merger.
    • Cowen notes Angie's HomeAdvisor would have a combined network of 140K service professionals, and claimed 14.4M unique visitors in September (far above the 3.6M claimed by rival Thumbtack). It also thinks the sales productivity improvements recently achieved by HomeAdvisor can be transferred over to Angie's List.
    • Separately, HomeAdvisor has announced a deal with Google to allow consumers to book appointments with pre-screened HomeAdvisor professionals via Google Places business listings (used by Google Maps and Google+). HomeAdvisor states it's the "first and only" home services marketplace to be integrated with Places.
    | Nov. 13, 2015, 2:31 PM
  • Nov. 11, 2015, 4:12 PM
    • InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) is offering to buy Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI) for what amounts to a 10% premium to today's close. The all-cash offer is worth $512M.
    • IAC aims to combine Angie's List with its competing HomeAdvisor unit, as sought by Angie's activist TCS Capital. The company adds it's prepared to discuss a merger between Angie's and HomeAdvisor that would be structured as a "tax-free exchange" for Angie's stockholders.
    • IAC CEO Joey Levin: "We were disappointed to hear that the Board is not interested in further engaging with us regarding a strategic transaction involving Angie's List ... A combined HomeAdvisor-Angie's List would have unparalleled consumer reach and an incomparable network of paid service professionals ... We are confident that the operating outlook for Angie's List in a combination scenario would be substantially improved over its standalone prospects."
    • Angie's has risen to $8.68 after hours.
    • Update (6:23PM ET): Angie's has issued a short response to IAC's offer. "Consistent with its fiduciary duties, the Angie's List Board, in consultation with its independent financial and legal advisors, will carefully review and evaluate IAC's proposal to determine the course of action that the Board believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Angie's List shareholders." Shares are now up 12.1% to $8.88, as investors bet on a higher bid arriving.
    | Nov. 11, 2015, 4:12 PM | 8 Comments
  • Jul. 14, 2015, 11:35 AM
    • Ahead of its planned IPO, InterActiveCorp's (IACI +1.5%) Match Group is buying online dating site PlentyOfFish for $575M in cash. The deal is expected to close in Q4.
    • Match CEO Sam Yagan: "For over a decade I have followed the consistent growth of PlentyOfFish, first within North America, then globally, and most recently across platforms, as one of the most popular mobile dating products in the world ... PlentyOfFish's addition both brings new members into our family of products and deepens the lifetime relationship we have with our users across our portfolio."
    • The purchase adds to a stable of online dating assets that includes Match.com, OKCupid, HowAboutWe, and a major stake in Tinder. IAC is making fresh highs
    | Jul. 14, 2015, 11:35 AM | 10 Comments
  • Jan. 12, 2015, 6:38 PM
    • InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) has sold restaurant-discovery app Urbanspoon to Indian restaurant app startup Zomato. TechCrunch reports the purchase price is "between $50 million and $60 million."
    • IAC acquired Urbanspoon in 2009, and added it to its CityGrid local services unit. CityGrid laid off ~2/3 of its staff in 2013 amid tough competition from Yelp and other local services platforms.
    • Meanwhile, Tinder (majority-owned by IAC) has bought Chill, the creator of ephermeral text messaging app Tappy. Tinder, which already offers an ephemeral messaging feature (Moments), suggests the purchase is an acqui-hire. CEO Sean Rad: "There are some specific things that [Tappy has] done in the past that we wouldn’t have to figure out on our own moving forward.”
    • Tinder is now seeing 1.5B swipes and 21M matches per day, up from 1B and 12M in October.
    | Jan. 12, 2015, 6:38 PM | 2 Comments
  • Nov. 3, 2014, 12:30 PM
    • InterActiveCorp's (IACI -0.1%) Mindspark app development unit has bought Apalon, a Belarus-based mobile app development firm, for an undisclosed sum.
    • Apps developed by Apalon - examples include Weather Live and Notepad+ - collective have over 20 million MAUs, and have been downloaded over 100M times. Mindspark, for its part, has developed 80+ apps over its history.
    • Mindspark co-president Eric Esterlis: "The combination of Apalon's world-class mobile app development skills with Mindspark's proven ability to distribute digital applications at scale is a huge differentiator."
    • IAC has been buying companies at a heady pace this year.
    | Nov. 3, 2014, 12:30 PM
  • Oct. 14, 2014, 6:25 PM
    • Fresh off taking a $250M stake in studio Legendary Entertainment, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has bought DramaFever, a site that offers free (ad-supported) and subscription-based access to foreign movies and TV shows, much of it from South Korea. The price is undisclosed for now.
    • Re/code previously reported InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) was thinking about buying DramaFever, and said it heard of price tags ranging from $80M-$140M.
    • The Legendary and DramaFever deals follow SoftBank's hiring of Google sales chief Nikesh Arora to be the conglomerate's vice chairman and Internet/media chief.
    | Oct. 14, 2014, 6:25 PM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 8, 2014, 6:30 PM
    • Re/code reports InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) is in talks with DramaFever, an online provider of Korean movies/TV shows believed to be looking for new funding or a buyer.
    • DramaFever offers both free/ad-supported content and a $10/month subscription service. Potential synergies exist between its library and IAC-controlled Vimeo.
    • Re/code reports hearing of price tags ranging from $80M-$140M for DramaFever. The company's dependence on a Hulu sub-licensing deal is said to be a concern among potential buyers.
    • IAC has been on an M&A spree in 2014. Recent purchases include Mhelpdesk, Ask.fm, The Princeton Review, and HowAboutWe.
    | Oct. 8, 2014, 6:30 PM
  • Sep. 17, 2014, 2:29 PM
    • Reuters reports it and then takes it away, as it cites "a source with knowledge of the matter" as saying an earlier report that IAC/InteractiveCorp (IACI +0.1%) had offered to buy Perion Network (PERI +4.1%) was untrue.
    • The earlier report said IAC has offered at least $500M for PERI, whose technology helps developers distribute apps and make money off them through advertising.
    | Sep. 17, 2014, 2:29 PM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 17, 2014, 6:52 AM
    • InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) has offered to buy Perion (NASDAQ:PERI) for more than $500M, Reuters reports.
    • Perion had a strong Q2, but lowered its revenue and net income outlook for 2014 after Google altered its browser policy.
    | Sep. 17, 2014, 6:52 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 3, 2014, 3:56 PM
    • InterActiveCorp's (IACI -0.4%) HomeAdvisor unit has bought a majority stake in Mhelpdesk, provider of a cloud-based app that helps small/mid-sized field service teams do their jobs. Terms are undisclosed.
    • HomeAdvisor plans to begin offering (through a membership package) Mhelpdesk's software to professionals using its home services marketplace in January. Mhelpdesk is adding 1K+ new business users per month; HomeAdvisor, which competes against Angie's List, claims a base of 80K field service businesses.
    • IAC has gotten acquisition-hungry as of late: Over the last two months, Barry Diller's mini-conglomerate has bought Ask.fm, The Princeton Review, and HowAboutWe.
    | Sep. 3, 2014, 3:56 PM
  • Aug. 14, 2014, 11:21 AM
    • InterActiveCorp's (IACI +1.2%) Ask.com unit has acquired popular Q&A site/social network Ask.fm for an undisclosed sum.
    • Ask.fm has grown like wildfire over the last two years, and now claims 180M monthly unique users. It competes to an extent against fellow Q&A sites such as Quora and Yahoo Answers, but its base is more skewed towards teens. The site handles ~20K questions/minute, and its mobile apps have seen 40M+ downloads.
    • As part of the deal, Ask.fm's founders will be leaving the company, and IAC will be working with New York and Maryland's attorneys general to help Ask.fm "implement a set of best practices focused on increasing the safety of its services." The site has been criticized for failing to do enough to prevent bullying and harassment.
    • The purchase follows IAC's July acquisitions of The Princeton Review and HowAboutWe.
    | Aug. 14, 2014, 11:21 AM