FTD Closes Liberty E-Commerce Unit Buy

Deal Gives Liberty Interactive 35% Interest in Floral Giant
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Floral giant FTD completed its acquisition of the floral and gifting business of Liberty Interactive unit Provide Commerce in a deal that will give Liberty a 35% interest in FTD.

Provide Commerce is now a wholly owned subsidiary of FTD. The two companies first announced the deal in July. As part of the transaction, FTD issued 10.2 million shares of its common stock and $144.7 million in cash to Liberty Interactive As of the Dec. 31 closing, FTD has approximately 29.2 million shares outstanding, with Liberty Interactive owning approximately 35% of FTD shares outstanding.

FTD’s management team will remain in place, with Robert Apatoff continuing as CEO and Robert Berglass continuing as chairman.

“We welcome the Provide Commerce team to the FTD family and look forward to bringing together Provide Commerce’s complementary collection of respected and highly recognizable e-commerce brands with ours. We will create one of the most compelling selections of floral and gifting products in the marketplace today, with greater convenience and choice for our customers,” Apatoff said in a statement. “Together, we will expand the breadth of our brands and pursue opportunities to further diversify our revenue streams. We will also look to open up additional avenues for growth and innovation, all with a goal of creating incremental value for FTD stockholders over time.”

In connection with the closing of the transaction, the FTD board expands from seven to 11 directors, with Liberty Interactive selecting four new members – former KPMG managing partner Candace Duncan; former Charter Communications EVP of programming and Hamilton Media principal Sue Ann Hamilton; Liberty Interactive vice president, corporate development Robin Pringle; and Liberty Media senior vice president and chief financial officer Chris Shean.

“We are excited to become the largest shareholder in FTD,” Liberty Interactive CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement. “Rob and his management team have built an impressive business and with the addition of the complementary businesses of Provide Commerce we are confident they will drive even greater value.”

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