On the heels of a $5.6 million loss for the third quarter, IAC/Interactive business unit Lending Tree is about to go it alone. IAC said today that it will spin off LendingTree — which will also include RealEstate.com, Domania, GetSmart, Home Loan Center and iNest — as part of a plan to separate IAC into five publicly-traded companies. From the press statement:

LendingTree, obviously under pressure from the macro real estate and mortgage environment, is nevertheless a valuable asset with a great brand and will be freed to participate fully with its own currency.

Something tells me this new currency is going to feature a horrible exchange rate. For employees of Lending Tree, it’s not clear what the transition buys them:

It is contemplated that outstanding IAC stock options and restricted stock units held by employees will be adjusted in a fair and equitable manner into either options or restricted stock units of the company with which each employee remains …

I’m reading that to mean that Lending Tree employees will be exchanging IAC shares held and options for Lending Tree currency. If any readers work there, I’d be interested to know how you feel about that.

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