February 9, 2011, 5:37 PM

GSI acquires sports e-retailer Fanatics

Fanatics operates 250 e-retail sites, including FootballFanatics.com.

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GSI Commerce Inc., which sells e-commerce and online marketing technology and services to more than 200 retailers, disclosed today that it’s buying Fanatics Inc., an online retailer of licensed sports merchandise that operates 250 e-commerce sites, including www.footballfanatics.com, No. 210 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

GSI, which got its start hosting e-commerce sites for sporting goods retailers, will pay $277 million for Fanatics, including $171 million in cash and $106 million in stock. In 2010, Fanatics had $186.3 million in net revenue and $23.8 million in income.

“Fanatics is a terrific company and a great fit with GSI,” said Michael G. Rubin, chairman and CEO of GSI. 

GSI also reported today that its revenue increased nearly 25% in the fourth quarter and 36% for the full year 2010. The company’s net loss for the year increased to $36.5 million.

For the full year 2010, GSI reported:

• Net revenue increased to $1.36 billion, up 36% from $1.0 billion for the same period last year.

• Net revenue from product sales increased to $777.3 million, up 43.3% from $542.3 million last year.

• Net revenue from service fees increased to $580.7 million, up 25.7% from $462.0 million.

• Costs and expenses increased to $1.38 billion, up 38.8% from $994.0 million last year.

• Net loss increased to $36.5 million, up 231.8% from $11.0 million last year.

 For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, GSI reported:

• Net revenue increased to $537.0 million, up 24.8% from $430.2 million for the same period last year. 

• Net revenue from product sales increased to $318.7 million, up 25.4% from $254.1 million last year.

• Net revenue from service fees increased to $218.4 million, up 24.0% from $176.2 million.

• Costs and expenses increased to $498.6 million, up 30.1% from $383.3 million last year.

• Net income was $15.9 million, down 32.6% from $23.6 million last year.

 “Our fourth quarter capped off a solid 2010 for GSI Commerce, as we grew revenues by 35%.  These results were, in part, a reflection of 24% full year e-commerce comparable store growth which benefited from strong industry trends as well as our multi-channel efforts,” says Rubin. “2010 was a year of important strategic investments for GSI, including deepening our management team with several key hires and enhancing our market positions in our core e-commerce and marketing services segments. With the acquisition of Fanatics that we announced today, we will further strengthen our leadership position in licensed sports merchandise.  In addition, we expect that the growth initiatives in our emerging businesses, Rue La La and ShopRunner, will fuel future opportunities.”

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