n. The process of setting up a portion of a corporation as a separate business and selling some of its shares in an initial public offering. (Also: the business so formed.)

Example Citation:
"In a pure spinoff, a parent company distributes 100 percent of its ownership interest in a subsidiary company to its existing shareholders in the form of a dividend.

In a partial spinoff, or carve-out, the parent company sells less than 20 percent of its ownership interest in the subsidiary company to the public."
—Andrew Leckey, "Spinoffs May Be Undervalued Opportunities," Chicago Tribune, March 13, 1999

"Carve-out" is also a term used in the U.S. health insurance industry. It refers to a service (such as mental health or vision care) that has been removed from an employer's health benefits plan and then contracted out to a separate health care provider that specializes in that service:

"Managed care also spawned a special mini-sector of companies devoted solely to mental health and substance abuse treatment. The leader of these behavioral 'carve-out companies' is based in Atlanta: Magellan Health Services."
—Andy Miller, "Managed care and mental health," The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 30, 1998