QVC's Parent Company Buys Online Retailer Zulily for $2.4 Billion

QVC's Parent Company Buys Online Retailer Zulily for $2.4 Billion

Liberty Media Corp. chairman John Malone.

Image credit: Reuters | Rick Wilking

Media mogul John Malone's Liberty Interactive Corp said it would acquire Zulily Inc in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.4 billion to tap into the online retailer's younger clientele and its strong mobile presence.

Zulily, a website that hosts "flash" sales of clothing primarily for women and children, counts Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd as one of its shareholders.

Alibaba held about 9 percent of Zulily's total common stock as of May 15.

The offer of $18.75 per share represents a premium of about 49 percent to Zulily's Friday close. The company's stock was up 50 percent in premarket trading on Monday.

Up to Friday's close, Zulily's stock had fallen about 43 percent since its debut in November 2013.

Liberty Interactive, the media conglomerate which owns home shopping network QVC, is known for investing in a range of digital commerce businesses.

Liberty Interactive said it would buy Zulily for $18.75 per share, or $9.375 in cash and 0.3098 newly issued share of Liberty Interactive for each Zulily share.

"Zulily's younger customer demographic, personalization expertise and ecommerce capabilities will boost QVC," the companies said in a statement.

In the second quarter ended June 28, about 56 percent of Zulily's orders were placed from a mobile device, up from about 49 percent a year earlier.

Once the deal closes, expected in the fourth quarter, Zulily will remain based in Seattle and continue to be run by Chief Executive Darrell Cavens.

Baker Botts LLP is Liberty Interactive's legal adviser. Goldman Sachs is the financial adviser to Zulily and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Cooley LLP are its legal advisers.

(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Maju Samuel)

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