LendingTree, Charlotte's most successful tech company from the dot-com era, is set to return as a Charlotte-based standalone company – with founder Doug Lebda at the helm – next week.
Parent IAC/InterActiveCorp said Monday that its previously announced spinoffs will stand on their own again beginning Aug. 21. IAC Chief Executive Officer Barry Diller is also separating the HSN shopping channel, Ticketmaster Inc., and the Interval Leisure group time-share exchange service.
After the spinoff is completed, LendingTree will be known as Tree.com and will trade under the ticker “TREE” on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Its shares are expected to begin provisional trading today.
Lebda sold LendingTree to IAC in 2003 and became president and chief operating officer of the New York-based Internet conglomerate in 2005. Last year, IAC said it planned to spin off four units into independent public companies to focus on its core Internet business, which includes such sites as Ask.com and Evite.
LendingTree, with its headquarters in Charlotte's Ballantyne area, was one of the company's poorest-performing units last year amid a national real estate slump. Once just an Internet marketplace for borrowers, LendingTree now makes its own loans and has gained real estate-related businesses.
Lebda founded the company in 1996.