QVC parent company Liberty Interactive Corp. today announced that it has entered into a deal to acquire the 62 percent of competitor HSN Inc. that it does not already own. (Liberty currently owns 38.2 percent of HSNi.)
The all-stock transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter, marks the latest retail industry merger where major firms opt to consolidate in order to build strength against online giant Amazon.
“We are excited to announce the acquisition of HSNi. The addition of HSN will enhance QVC’s position as the leading global video eCommerce retailer,” Greg Maffei, Liberty Interactive president and CEO, said in a release. “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.”
Among the possible benefits of the merger, Liberty said it believes the acquisition of HSNi will provide increased scale to QVC, increase its competitive advantage, advance its e-commerce and digital efforts, and allow both brands to engage in cross-marketing.
“HSNi founded the industry 40 years ago and helped it grow with exciting initiatives like Shop by Remote and media integrations with leading content producers. By creating the leader in discovery-based shopping, we will enhance the customer experience, accelerate innovation, leverage our resources and talents to further strengthen our brands, and redeploy savings for innovation and growth,” Mike George, QVC president and CEO, said in a release. “As the prominent global video commerce retailer and North America’s third-largest mobile and e-commerce retailer, the combined company will be well-positioned to help shape the next generation of retailing.”
HSNi consists of interactive multichannel retailer HSN, and Cornerstone, which is comprises several home and apparel lifestyle brands, including Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements.
“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,” Arthur Martinez, HSNi’s chairman, said in a release. “We have both been innovators in a growing and dynamic retail environment with a unique vision of what shopping should be, and as new technologies continue to change our everyday lives, together we can develop the next generation of shopping for the next generation of consumers.”
Post-closing, HSNi headquarters will remain in St. Petersburg and will be overseen by QVC chief George.