Takeover mania isn’t confined to one side of the Atlantic; Liberty, the media group that includes QVC and holds a majority stake in IAC/Interactive Corp, is buying Provide Commerce whose mission is “To become the leading e-commerce marketplace for the delivery of perishable products direct from the supplier to the consumer,” whatever that means.
Provide Commerce has a number of branded Websites geared to rapidly ship perishable goods ordered on the Web, with brands including Cherry Moon Farms.
Liberty is paying Provide Commerce shareholders a 12% premium on Fridays’ closing price valuing the company at $477m, that’s $33.75 for each and every share.
The Liberty purchase, is subject to approvals from US regulatory bodies as well as Provide Commerce shareholders, if all obstacles are cleared then the acquisition should complete in the second quarter of 2006.
John Malone the multi-Billionaire Chairman of Liberty was clear on the acquisition goals, “We believe in the power of video to drive television and web-based retailing businesses and Provide is a compelling addition to our strategy.”
Bill Strauss Provide Commerce’s CEO was equally direct,
“We look forward to working with the other Liberty Internet and video companies to accelerate profitable growth.”
Malone is a titan in the media world who rivals Murdoch Senior in terms of reach and ambitions (in fact Liberty holds a substantial share of Murdoch’s News Corp).
Dr Malone has rarely been wrong footed by developments in the media landscape and we expect he’ll soon be reaping benefits from this deal including the leveraging of IAC/Interactive Corp’s strength in retailing and service sectors alongside potential tie-ins to QVC’s somewhat gullible customers.