RealTime IT News

E-Commerce Consolidation Continues Tuesday moved to consolidate its position in the struggling e-commerce pet products arena.

The company acquired key assets and strategic partnerships of for about $11.9 million in stock and 850,000 shares of a redeemable non-voting, non-convertible series A preferred stock.

In addition to the preferred shares, will exchange 5.8 million common shares. The transaction is expected to close by the end of June. said the acquisition of assets and partnerships will allow it to extend its leadership in the online pet category without accelerating its cash needs.

The assets include's complete database of customers and newsletter subscribers; the trademark, trade name and domain name; Flying Fish Express, its live fish business; its strategic supplier agreements; and a strategic, equity relationship with Inc., owned by Discovery Communications Inc.

Contingent on's acquisition of's assets, Discovery Communications will take invest $3 million in cash in The agreement includes offline media promotion of on the Discovery family of television networks, which include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel and Discovery Health Channel. will also have a one-year exclusive, integrated pets e-commerce tenancy on and will have the option to obtain up to three additional one-year periods of exclusivity. will provide links from relevant content to the site for four years. In addition, Michela English,'s president and chief operating officer, will join's board of directors.

"We are very excited about working with our new partner, and believe that this transaction with will further secure's strong position in the pets e-commerce space," English said. is also forming a 24-month strategic marketing relationship with Safeway Inc. that is contingent on the acquisition of's assets. Under the agreement, Safeway will promote through in-store programs and other means and will carry the Safeway SELECT pet food line on its Web site.'s stock price was down 2.9 percent in late morning trading.