June 23, 2008 / 4:22 PM / 11 years ago

Ticketmaster spin-off to start with $750 million debt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A newly independent Ticketmaster will likely take on about $750 million in debt and have $450 million in cash as it is spun off from parent IAC/InterActiveCorp, a top IAC executive said on Monday.

IAC Chief Financial Officer Thomas McInerney said Ticketmaster and sibling units HSN and Interval would initially be capitalized with net debt as they are spun off.

IAC is also planning to spin off online mortgage unit LendingTree.com, with the process for all four units likely to be completed in late July or early August, McInerney said.

“In general we’re making good progress on the timeline we have discussed,” McInerney said on a conference call with analysts.

Sean Moriarty, chief executive of Ticketmaster, said on the call that the company saw substantial new opportunities in expanding its international ticket sales services, its ticket resale functions and helping artists market themselves to a growing fan base that no longer listens to the radio.

Ticketmaster faces new competition in the live entertainment ticketing market from concert promoter Live Nation, which is due to end a long-term partnership between the companies this year.

Moriarty said on Monday that he expects Ticketmaster to see profit growth in 2009 despite the departure of Live Nation, which accounts for about 15 percent of revenue and 10 percent to 15 percent of bottom line income.

Ticketmaster currently operates in 20 countries and expects to nearly double that number in the coming five years, Moriarty said.

Shares of IAC were down 13 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $20.46 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Michele Gershberg; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Tim Dobbyn

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