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For Diller, letting go is a good feeling -- at least for a day

August 21, 2008 |  8:43 pm

Investors gave a strong reception Thursday to three of the four newly public companies spun off from IAC/InterActiveCorp -- which media mogul Barry Diller had hoped to build into an Internet conglomerate for the 21st century.

HSN Inc., the original Home Shopping Network, saw the biggest jump, gaining $2.68, or 21.2%, to $15.29.

Barrydiller The others: Vacation time-share firm Interval Leisure Group Inc. rose $1.76, or 12.5%, to $15.88; West Hollywood-based Ticketmaster rallied $1.45, or 6.7%, to $23.09; and online lending company Tree.com Inc. edged up 4 cents, or 0.5%, to $7.46.

The price changes are measured from the stocks’ Wednesday "when-issued" prices -- trading before the new securities actually were distributed.

Shares of New York-based IAC, which retained 35 Internet businesses, including Ask.com, Gifts.com, Match.com and gaming site IWon, rallied $1.27, or 8.3%, to $16.63.

Wall Street never gave his creation the stock price Diller had hoped for, so he opted for a breakup -- betting that the sum of the parts would be worth more than the whole over time.

Diller has conceded that the company he began to build in the early 1990s wound up with "just too much complexity" for investors to get their arms around.

Chief Financial Officer Tom McInerney told Bloomberg that the value of the five companies "should be much more than it is now. I hope it’s very obvious in a year."

But Bloomberg’s story points out that the stocks could be in for a rough ride in the near term as IAC’s original investors reshuffle their new holdings. Read the story here.

Photo: Barry Diller. Matthew Staver / Bloomberg News

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