Flixster For Sale; IAC Interested

Fast growing movie-centered social network Flixster has been making the rounds with potential buyers, we’ve heard from multiple sources. And IAC may have submitted a letter of intent in the last week or so.

The San Francisco based company has had a meteoric rise since launching in January 2006, although Comscore suggests growth has stagnated over the last few months – worldwide unique visitors went from just over 12 million in May 2007 to just 8.4 million in September, a drop of about 30%. Compete and Alexa show a similar decline beginning in May, but with a subsequent full recovery and then some.

IAC’s offer, we’ve heard, may value the company at $150 million. However, IAC has a tendency to do complicated investment deals where they get a minority or majority stake in the business v. an outright acquisition. They own a majority stake College Humor/Vimeo (same parent company) and GarageGames, and a minority stake (rumored at 25%) in iLike through an investment by subsidiary Ticketmaster.

Flixster may not be very interested in a partial buyout, but interest from IAC could lead others to enter a bid, too. More on this as it develops.