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FTD to Be Acquired by Leonard Green

The Los Angeles-based buyout group agrees to purchase the floral delivery service for about $420 million.

October 07, 2003|From Bloomberg News

FTD Inc., which sells flowers and other gifts via the Internet and telephone, agreed on Monday to be bought by Green Equity Investors for about $420 million.

Stockholders would receive $24.85 a share, Downers Grove, Ill.-based FTD said. Green Equity expects to complete the transaction in the first quarter.

It was reported months ago that FTD had hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find a buyer. Green Equity Investors is an affiliate of Los Angeles-based private investment company Leonard Green & Partners. FTD Chief Executive Robert Norton would continue in his position after the transaction is completed, FTD said.

Shares of FTD, which had risen 54% this year, rose 25 cents to $24.56 in Nasdaq trading.

FTD's sales rose 12% to $363.3 million in the fiscal year ended in June. The company said it expected revenue to rise in fiscal 2004.

In August, FTD said net income in the first quarter ended Sept. 30 would fall and sales would be little changed. FTD earned $5.8 million, or 35 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter on sales of $73.6 million.

Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity firm, invested less than $10 million in FTD in a 1994 leveraged buyout. The firm still owns almost 18% of FTD, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, a stake worth about $65 million.

Bain's investments include Burger King Corp., Domino's Inc. and KB Toys. Bain spokesman Joseph Lobello declined to comment on Green Equity's purchase of FTD.

Leonard Green, started in 1989, had completed 27 transactions as of May and holds stakes in Petco Animal Supplies Inc., Rite Aid Corp., Gart Sports Co. and Leslie's Poolmart Inc. In January, the firm completed raising a $1.85-billion buyout fund.

FTD Chief Financial Officer Carrie Wolfe and Jonathan Sokoloff, a partner with Leonard Green & Partners, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

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