an Internet luxury retailer, will acquire GUILD.com,
an online retailer of contemporary art. The addition of GUILD.com will complement Ashford's already large selection with more than 10,000 works from more than 1,500 artists. GUILD.com will receive approximately 8.7 million shares of Ashford stock. "The combination of GUILD.com and Ashford will create a host of marketing and operating synergies as well as providing additional liquidity until the combined entity achieves its anticipated profitability next holiday season," says Kenny Kurtzman, CEO of Ashford.com.
The acquisition of GUILD.com supports Ashford's path to profitability by bringing $11.5 million in cash as of year end and a 100% gross margin business model with no inventory and no debt. The deal improves every financial metric for the combined entity, including revenue, margin, earnings per share and cash, Ashford says. GUILD.com is expected to become cash positive for Ashford within six months of closing. Ashford will receive access to GUILD.com's 60,000 customers and members, who, like Ashford customers, represent an upscale demographic.