NEW YORK -- Billionaire Barry Diller, the entertainment mogul who ran some of the world's media giants and helped create Fox Broadcasting, said yesterday he will turn to Wall Street to create a new publicly traded online travel company anchored by the Expedia franchise.
Diller, 62, said he plans to split his IAC/InterActiveCorp into two separate companies -- an online travel agency and an electronic retailer.
The New York interactive commerce company now has about 40 separate businesses under its umbrella, from social networking names like Match.com to retail services like Ticketmaster.
The new company -- to be named after Expedia, the largest US travel website -- will include the domestic and international operations of Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire and the group's other travel sites, and is expected to go public by the second quarter of 2005.
Wall Street appeared pleased with the news. IAC/Interactive shares surged $1.53 to close at $27.41 in trading on Nasdaq Stock Market.
IAC/Interactive has a market value of $18 billion, and last year produced about $6.06 billion of revenue -- with the travel business accounting for about 30 percent of that, the company said.
Once the split takes place, IAC/Interactive should have a per-share price of about $24 and Expedia a per-share value of about $13, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy.
IAC/Interactive will include the operations associated with IAC's ticketing business, including Ticketmaster, electronic retailing business such as the Home Shopping Network, and financial services and real estate.
The company's board has already approved the plan, in which Diller will remain chairman and chief executive of IAC/Interactive.