Make us your home page
Instagram

Diller prevails in IAC ruling

Barry Diller emerged on top Friday in his open court duke-out with John Malone, clearing the way for Diller to break up his $5.4-billion InterActiveCorp e-commerce empire this summer.

That includes judicial approval to spin off St. Petersburg-based HSN as its own stock, this time without either Diller or Malone's Liberty Media Corp. in control of the TV shopping giant.

Delaware Chancery Judge Stephen Lamb ruled that Diller had not violated his contract with Liberty and was free to ask the IAC board and shareholders to approve the spin-offs into five independent companies. Diller would keep his interest only in what's left of IAC and Ticketmaster.

Whether the complex deal comes off as originally planned remains to be seen, given the endless dealmaking histories of principal players Diller, 66, and Malone, 67. While the billionaires have been close partners for two decades, the gloves came off last fall when Malone asked for a corporate divorce and Diller responded with a spin-off plan two months later that seriously undermined the value of Malone and Liberty's interest.

Lamb, however, said Diller's deal with Malone was not breached, partly because the IAC board has yet to vote on it. So the warring pair could be back in court.

The dispute dates from 1995, when Malone lured Diller to take over then-struggling HSN by letting him vote Liberty's 62 percent controlling interest in the company as long as he wanted. Diller used HSN as the foundation to build IAC, which grew into a conglomerate of 60 businesses that now includes Ticketmaster, LendingTree and Ask.com.

Today, Liberty holds 62 percent of the voting shares, but owns only 30 percent of IAC. But Diller still has Malone's proxy to vote the controlling shares as he pleases, the judge ruled.

In each of the spun-off companies, Liberty would no longer have 62 percent of the voting power, only 30 percent.

Liberty owns QVC, the world's biggest TV shopping network, outright. As part of the divorce settlement, Malone was interested in getting back HSN, QVC's biggest TV shopping rival. But months of talks collapsed over price and Malone's insistence on a tax-free stock swap.

IAC and Liberty both sued. Diller wanted a judge's blessing that he could eliminate the dual-class voting structure in the breakup. Malone wanted the judge to stop Diller from voting Malone's shares to erase Malone's controlling interest. He also wanted affirmation he could fire Diller and six loyal IAC board members, including Diller's wife, Diane Von Furstenberg.

Diller said he turned on Malone to protect other IAC shareholders' interest in the spin-offs and to keep "these little baby" companies from being squashed in the internal politics of much larger Liberty. Diller was all business after the verdict: "Now it's over and we can all get on with our work and lives."

Diller prevails in IAC ruling 03/28/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2008 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  3. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants the Constitu?tion Revision Commis?sion to ask voters to repeal the state’s system of partial financing of statewide elections.
  4. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  5. Eat 3-course meals for $35 at these 100 restaurants for Orlando's Magical Dining Month

    Food & Dining

    In the early 1900s, hotels offered "table d'hote" or "prix fixe" menus as a form of loss leader. Hotels didn't necessarily make money on these lower-priced, multi-course meals, often served at communal tables, but they made up for it on the booze. Prohibition may have contributed to a gradual shift toward a la carte …

    Bulla Gastrobar serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese dishes.