Here’s a fun one.An industry source told us last week that Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis is going around telling people he hired IAC M&A vet Jason Rapp as President in order to sell the company for a price around $700 million.
Reached for comment, Calacanis denied the rumour: “We brought Rapp in to help help scale the business.”
“We are committed to building the business for the long term. No interest in selling.”
That’s the smart thing for Calacanis to say to a reporter. We don’t really buy it.
While Rapp had a run as Gifts.com CEO, he’s not really considered an operator. His main role at IAC over the years was in M&A as Barry Diller’s top deals man.
Our speculation: Jason is bored with Mahalo and does want to sell (though he’d be very lucky to get anything approaching $700 million). Building the business for the long term – we think – is Jason’s plan B.
Prediction: Demand Media IPOs this fall, then uses some of the cash it raises to buy its SoCal neighbour Mahalo in spring 2011.