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Match Group and IAC Face Lawsuit Over Tinder’s Valuation



Three of Tinder’s founders and a handful of current executives say the popular dating app’s parent companies cheated them out of as much as $2 billion by manipulating financial information to undermine its valuation, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The co-founders and executives claim that

Match Group
Inc.


MTCH -2.86%

and

IAC/InterActiveCorp
.


IAC -0.31%

hid projections of Tinder’s rapid growth in order to reduce payments to the holders of stock options, which were dependent on the company’s valuation.

The 10 plaintiffs to the suit filed it in New York Supreme Court and are seeking $2 billion.

The suit also says that

Greg Blatt,

a longtime executive of IAC who served as interim chief executive of Tinder, groped and sexually harassed Tinder’s vice president of marketing and communications, Rosette Pambakian, during the company’s 2016 holiday party.

Mr. Blatt didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit is unusual in part because it involves so many senior officials who remain at the company. Tinder’s chief strategist, vice president of finance, director of marketing, as well as Ms. Pambakian, all joined the suit. The chief strategist,

Jonathan Badeen,

is also a co-founder.

Two other Tinder co-founders,

Sean Rad

and

Justin Mateen,

and Tinder’s former chief technologist, engineering director, lead designer and head of U.S. expansion are also participating in the suit. Messrs. Rad and Mateen no longer work at the company.

In a joint statement, IAC and Match Group said, “Since Tinder’s inception, Match Group has paid out in excess of a billion dollars in equity compensation to Tinder’s founders and employees. With respect to the matters alleged in the complaint, the facts are simple: Match Group and the plaintiffs went through a rigorous, contractually defined valuation process involving two independent global investment banks, and Mr. Rad and his merry band of plaintiffs did not like the outcome.”

Write to Georgia Wells at [email protected]


Source : WSJ

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