January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

ValueVision to write down Internet retailer investments

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Minneapolis-based ValueVision International, Inc., a cable and satellite broadcasting company, is writing down minority equity investments in Internet retailers Petopia.com, SelfCare.com, Roxy.com and Big Star Entertainment Inc. ValueVison is concerned about the companiesÕ large operating and cash flow losses and the current environment which is not conducive to raising new financing. ValueVision will record a pre-tax non-cash charge to earnings of approximately $55 million, which will be reflected in its financial results for the third quarter. "Notwithstanding the write down of these investments, ValueVision will actively pursue salvaging whatever remaining value it can from these investments," the company said. Gene McCaffery, chairman and CEO of ValueVision, said: "The entire Internet e-tailing industry is clearly going through a significant rationalization as funding has dried up for start-up ventures with continued large operating losses. Nevertheless, we continue to have confidence in our own Internet business, which is growing significantly and is earnings and cash positive."

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