October 26, 2007, 12:00 AM

American Greetings buys Webshots online photo service for $45 million

Multi-channel greetings card retailer and manufacturer American Greetings Corp. is adding to its stable of online retail sites with the acquisition of the photo-sharing and shopping site Webshots from CNET Networks Inc.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Multi-channel greetings card retailer and manufacturer American Greetings Corp. is adding to its stable of online retail sites with the acquisition of the photo-sharing and shopping site Webshots from CNET Networks Inc. The purchase price of approximately $45 million is subject to post-closing adjustments, American Greetings says.

"The acquisition of Webshots gives us the opportunity to expand our current product offering of online social expressions into the adjacent area of online photo sharing,” says American Greetings CEO Zev Weiss. “The online photo market has grown dramatically over the past few years as consumers purchase and use digital cameras, share and print their photos through Internet sites, and look for ways to incorporate their photos on personalized products, including greeting cards."

Webshots.com lets visitors load and share personal photos and videos, and presents product reviews. Webshots also lets visitors order photo prints online and click links in descriptions of cameras and other products to comparison shop among multiple online retailers.

American Greetings, No. 150 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also owns and operates, through its AG Interactive division, retail greeting cards sites AmericanGreetings.com, BlueMountain.com and eGreetings.com.

"This acquisition is a natural extension of our interactive business, which is already a leading provider of electronic social expression content,” says Josef Mandelbaum, CEO of AG Intellectual Properties.

American Greetings expects the Webshots acquisition to “mildly” dilute fiscal 2008 earnings, Weiss says, adding: “We still expect to achieve our previously announced estimate of earnings per share from continuing operations for fiscal 2008 of $1.35 to $1.55 per share."

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