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IAC’s CEO outlines company’s strategy



joey levin


  • IAC is a $15 billion media juggernaut that includes
    properties like Angi Homeservices, Match Group, and
  • The company’s stock has performed well in recent years
    because of the company’s ability to play with “lots of
    different businesses, lots of different brands,” said CEO Joey
  • With Angie’s List, IAC kept such close tabs on the
    company through competitor Home Advisor that eventually the two
    companies combined into Angi Homeservices.

Facebook and Google continue to dominate digital media, but IAC
InterActive seems to have found a way to stand out.

The $15 billion internet conglomerate founded by media mogul
Barry Diller operates dozens of digital brands like Angi
Homeservices, Match Group, and Dotdash. In September, Jefferies
analyst Brent Thill
called IAC
“the unsung hero of the internet.”

Joey Levin, CEO of IAC, said IAC’s strategy is all about
investing in a sprawling amount of companies that is constantly
changing. He spoke during a talk at Business Insider’s Ignition
conference Monday with Nicholas Carlson, global editor-in-chief
of Business Insider and chief content officer at Insider Inc.

“We don’t have our scorecard in one simple stock chart or one
simple company,” he said. “It doesn’t always have to be in one
neat little file. We can mix things up a little bit.”

The strategy appears to be working, at least for Wall Street.
From December 2016 to October of this year, IAC’s stock has
over-performed by 185%, according to a slide that Levin shared
during the talk.

A chart showing IAC’s
stock performance.

Johnson/Business Insider

Levin said that for the past decade or so, IAC has focused on
consumer-focused internet companies that are smaller than the
massive platforms.

Occasionally IAC will spin-off or sell one of its assets but the
firm’s assumption is that it will operate the asset forever,
which, said Levin, “means at some point the cash flow is going to
be our problem.”

IAC isn’t afraid to dig into competitors’ business to win deals

Angi Homeservices
. The unit is made up of Angie’s List and
Home Advisor.

When IAC first looked into acquiring Angie’s List, a deal fell
through but then came together again because IAC was keeping
close tabs on the company.

Home Advisor started taking a page from Angie’s List’s playbook,
like opening a sales center in Indianapolis where Angie’s List
was headquartered.

“We were very focused on winning — we were, I think, tough
competitors, but at the same time, when we went to do a deal —
and this is really a credit to
Tom Evans
— we said, ‘We have a vision for this, we think we
can do some amazing things with this company, with this brand,'”
Levin said.

That process comes down to IAC’s ability to compartmentalize its
business, he said.

“We can be suing somebody on one side and partnering with them on
another side — it’s the reality,” Levin said.

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