Demand Media Plans To Split Domain, Content Businesses

In a surprise move, Santa Monica-based Demand Media said Tuesday afternoon that it plans to explore separating its domain name and content businesses into two, independent, publicly traded companies. According to Demand, its board has has authorized a plan to spin Demand Media into a "pure play" media company focused on content creation; and a separate, pure-play domain services company providing registry services and related, aftermarket services.

Richard Rosenblatt, Demand Media's CEO, said in a statement that the separation will "position each business to better pursue its specific strategic priorities and vision, as well as improve transparency for investors and enable the capital markets to better assess each company's value, performance and potential."

Demand Media said it anticipates the deal will be in the form of a tax-free distribution, and will occur in the next nine to twelve months.