Home Shopping Network is merging with its biggest competitor in a deal estimated at more than $2 billion.
Liberty Interactive Group, which owns rival QVC, announced an agreement to buy the outstanding 62 percent of the St. Petersburg-based retailer (Nasdaq: HSNi) in an all-stock transaction. Liberty is already HSN’s largest shareholder, owning 38 percent.
Liberty is already HSN’s largest shareholder, owning 38 percent.
As of May 1, HSN’s enterprise value was $2.6 billion; the Liberty Interactive announcement put the equity value at $2.1 billion.
“We are excited to announce the acquisition of HSNi. The addition of HSN will enhance QVC’s position as the leading global video e-commerce retailer. Every year they together produce over 55,000 hours of shoppable video content and have strong positions on multiple linear channels and OTT platforms,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Interactive President and CEO. “The value of the combined QVC, HSNi and zulily will be further highlighted when later this year QVC Group becomes an asset-backed stock as part of the previously announced split-off of Liberty Ventures.”
As of HSNi’s July 5 closing price, there will be “a consideration of $40.36 per HSNi share, representing a premium of $9.06 a share or 29 percent to HSNi shareholders.”
HSNi companies include HSN, the interactive multichannel retailer, and Cornerstone, which contains leading home and apparel lifestyle brands such as Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, and Improvements.
Liberty says HSN will operate as a separate brand and the HSNi headquarters will remain in St. Petersburg; QVC Group President and CEO Mike George will oversee the merged company after the deal closes at the end of the fourth quarter 2017.
Founded as the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg, HSN has emerged as one the area’s largest employers, with 3,000 employees based in the retailer’s Gateway campus near Interstate 275. HSNi employs 6,900 people.
Rumors of a merger between HSN and QVC heated up in April after longtime CEO Mindy Grossman left to head Weight Watchers.
“Joining the QVC Group will give us instant access to global consumer markets, a leadership team with deep expertise and a global perspective, and the opportunity to further strengthen our content-based brand portfolios in a changing retail landscape,” HSNi board of directors chair Arthur C. Martinez said in a statement.