IPO in the works for Match.com, Tinder
Match.com and Tinder are looking for a Wall Street hookup as their parent group prepares to establish them as a separate, publicly traded company. IAC/InterActiveCorp, which is controlled by billionaire Barry Diller, has approved a proposal for an initial public offering. Diller said Thursday that it’s “healthy” to give companies “independence from a mother church.” He laid the groundwork for the IPO two years ago when he formed the Match Group, which also includes OKCupid, Chemistry.com and other dating sites and apps. IAC said it expects the Match Group to issue less than 20 percent of its shares in the IPO. That means it will still be majority-owned by its parent. The IPO is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.
Consumer spending up strongly in May
U.S. consumer spending surged in May with the biggest monthly increase in nearly six years — a sign of stronger economic growth ahead. The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.9 percent last month, up from a revised 0.1 percent increase in April. May spending registered the biggest gain since August 2009, when the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program fueled auto-buying. The increased spending last month suggests that the positive impacts from solid hiring and cheaper gasoline are starting to ripple through the economy. Personal income also increased a healthy 0.5 percent. The savings rate for after-tax income fell slightly to 5.1 percent from 5.4 percent.
Potash Corp. makes offer for German rival
German potash producer K+S said it has received a takeover proposal from larger Canadian rival Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., starting a new takeover saga in the fertilizer industry. K+S said it was assessing its options. Reuters reported that K+S will likely reject the $7.8 billion takeover offer as too low. Potash Corp. would not comment. It is Potash Corp.’s second bid for K+S. A bid to acquire a majority stake in K+S in 1997 was blocked by the German competition watchdog. In 2010, Potash Corp. itself was the target of a $39 billion hostile bid from global mining giant BHP Billiton. That deal too was foiled after the Canadian government stepped in to block it.
TransUnion shares up 13% in market debut
Shares of TransUnion climbed after the credit rating company’s initial public offering raised $664.8 million. The Chicago company sold about 29.5 million shares for $22.50 a share, near the high end of its estimates. Its shares advanced $2.90, or 12.9 percent, to $25.40. They traded as high as $25.75. The shares are trading under the symbol “TRU” on the New York Stock Exchange. TransUnion provides consumer reports, risk scores and analytics to businesses, while consumers use TransUnion to view their credit profiles.
Lululemon recalls tops over snapback issue
Lululemon is recalling about 318,000 women’s tops, saying the hard-tipped elastic draw cords can snap back and injure the face or eyes of a wearer. Regulators said consumers should stop wearing the tops and either remove the cord or ask Lululemon for a nonelastic draw cord and instructions on how to replace the cord. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said the tops have an elastic draw cord with a metal or plastic tip in the hood or in the neck area. The agency says seven people have reported face and eye injuries.
Initial jobless claims climb but remain low
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid rose slightly last week, but remained at a historically low level that signals an improving job market. The Labor Department said applications rose 3,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 271,000. That’s not far from the 15-year low reached in April of 262,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined to 273,750. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the very low levels suggest that businesses are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers.
Average mortgage rates remain mostly flat
Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were mixed this week, marking slight increases or declines but remaining close to high levels for the year. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 4.02 percent this week from 4 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.21 percent from 3.23 percent. Mortgage rates have increased in recent weeks, in the midst of the spring home buying season, as the economy has shown signs of improvement. A year ago, the average 30-year rate was 4.14 percent.