IAC’s Diller sees M&A opportunity in downturn

IAC/InteractiveCorp Chief Executive Barry Diller has told Reuters he expects his company will have up to $2.2 billion in cash by March 2009 and has no plans to use it for share buybacks, although he is keen for acquisitions.

“My sense is that we wouldn’t be purchasers of our own stock and that’s because tomorrow will present unknown opportunities,” Diller said. “This downturn is going to present opportunities if you’re in the position that we’re in,” he said, citing entertainment, media and search as areas of interest. “In entertainment and media, I think there’s going to be a ‘cascade’ of acquisition opportunities.”

Diller said he would be interested in acquisitions in search, but not to acquire technology. “The interest would be on audience, we would acquire audience absolutely. We would acquire vertical audiences as we acquired with Dictionary.com, and Thesauraus.com.”

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