IAC: We Have No Idea Why Tinder CEO Was Discussing Sodomy And Dick Pics On The Record During IPO Quiet Period

Sean Rad would be wise to keep his distance from Barry Diller for a few days/years/forever.
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While we somehow doubt that Tinder founder and CEO Sean Rad is capable of feeling adequate shame for the bro calamity that was his recent interview with The Evening Standard, we are certain that his bosses at IAC (NASD: IACI)/The Match Group (NASD: MTCH) are feeling a lot of things about him right now.

As we've discussed before, Rad's interview was almost surreally and completely grotesque. For instance(s) he volunteered this:

He lost his virginity at the relatively ancient age of 17 — “it was a serious relationship, my first love” — and, unlike the profile of the average male user of his dating app, has slept with only a modest 20 women.

Pondered this:

Apparently there’s a term for someone who gets turned on by intellectual stuff. You know, just talking. What’s the word?” His face creases the effort of trying to remember. “I want to say ‘sodomy’?” 

And defended his app thusly:

The app is accused of encouraging adultery (“actually, only 0.4 per cent of our users are married”), stoking an increase of sexually transmitted infections (“there’s no data to support this”) and causing the phallus photo phenomenon (“I do not condone penis pictures — that is just NOT who I am”). 

He also issued a thinly-veiled threat to a Vanity Fair reporter and complained about a hot model who won't stop begging him for sex. Also, the article apparently misrepresented some of Tinder's engagement stats, which doesn't seem like a big deal taken in context.

But the PR tire fire that is this interview burns even brighter when one looks at the calendar and realizes that Rad sat down with this reporter during the IPO quiet period for Tinder's ownership concern, The Match Group.

Apparently Rad's grasp of the notion of "quiet" is commensurate with his mastery of "sodomy."

And suddenly those incorrect user numbers seem a little worse than they did before.

The Match Group will debut this morning at $12 a share, and will therefore have to start behaving like a publicly-traded company. That clearly means distancing itself from Rad, which IAC/Match was quick to do in a prospectus filed with the SEC this morning.

Here are the "highlights" of that filing:

The article was not approved or condoned by, and the content of the article was not reviewed by, the Company or any of its affiliates. Mr. Rad is not a director or executive officer of the Company and was not authorized to make statements on behalf of the Company for purposes of the article. The article noted that “Analysts believe the [Tinder] app, which launched in 2012, has around 80 million users worldwide and records 1.8 billion “swipes” a day.” While these statements were not made by Mr. Rad, the Company notes that they are inaccurate and directs readers to the Preliminary Prospectus, which states that for the month of September 2015, Tinder had approximately 9.6 million daily active users, with Tinder users “swiping” through an average of more than 1.4 billion user profiles each day.

This is essentially a regulatory document in which Barry Diller and his team are admitting to the SEC that they are utterly flummoxed why a man they turned into a multi-millionaire would sit down with a reporter days before an IPO and talk about penises, his mom and sodomy (or at least his bizarrely credulous understanding of what that word means), while simultaneously begging investors to throw money at a stock partially created by this clown.

IAC just wants to swipe left on Sean Rad, but he might just be the douchey ghost in the machine.

Tinder? I'm an addict, says hook-up app's co-creator and CEO Sean Rad [Evening Standard]
MATCH GROUP, INC. FREE WRITING PROSPECTUS [SEC]

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