May 28, 2008, 12:00 AM

ProFlowers` parent purchases assets of troubled RedEnvelope

Gift e-retailer RedEnvelope has found a buyer, and it’s not the one the company announced earlier this year. Provide Commerce, parent of ProFlowers.com, said yesterday it has acquired the assets of RedEnvelope, which filed for bankruptcy in April.

It seems there has been a change of buyers for financially distressed gift e-retailer RedEnvelope Inc. Provide Commerce, parent of ProFlowers.com, announced yesterday it has acquired the assets of RedEnvelope, which earlier this year filed for bankruptcy. The deal was made in a bankruptcy auction. The purchase price was not disclosed.

In April, RedEnvelope said it was selling itself to Creative Catalogs Corp., which operates Personal Creations, No. 189 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Under the agreement, Creative Catalogs would have extended $4.5 million in credit to RedEnvelope and paid $5.7 million for its assets, less any amount borrowed against the credit line.

But the deal was subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco division. RedEnvelope said at the time that the court could award its assets to a higher bidder if one surfaced.

Provide Commerce, owner of ProFlowers.com and a unit of Liberty Media, No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it will assume full ownership June 23. “We are thrilled to add Red Envelope under the Provide Commerce family of brands–they have a great brand, solid customer base and an attractive line of merchandise,” says Bill Strauss, Provide Commerce CEO. “By combining the assets of both companies, we believe we can strengthen all of our brands while providing our customers with even more exciting products to choose from.”

Red Envelope, No. 132 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will remain a separate brand after the acquisition, Strauss says. For the first nine months of its fiscal year, RedEnvelope Inc. reported a 13.9% drop in web sales to $66.7 million from $77.5 million a year earlier.

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