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Outpost.com Comes in from the Cold

It's been a long, strange road for the beleaguered Outpost.com, but the pioneer Internet computer goods retailer is still in business and has finally found a home, announcing the completion of its cash merger with Fry's Electronics Inc. and going private.

The Kent, Conn.-based company ran into the Internet recession last spring, slashing its work force and replacing its president and CEO with its chairman and founder, Darryl Peck.

The company was founded in 1995, practically the Jurassic age in Internet years.

Outpost.com said that the merger was approved at a special meeting of its stockholders. About 95 percent of the shares were voted in favor of the merger, and as a result, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Fry's. Each outstanding share of Outpost.com's common stock was converted into the right to receive 25 cents, without interest.

"Fry's acquisition of Outpost.com proved to be our best opportunity to enhance stockholder value," Peck said. "Outpost.com's employees and management are excited to join the Fry's family and extend to the Internet Fry's philosophy of being the one-stop supplier to the hi-tech professional."

Outpost.com said late last August that it would be acquired by Fry's and called off a previous deal to be acquired by PC Connection Inc.

According to an earlier Outpost press release, Fry's Electronics agreed to loan Outpost up to $13 million to repay PC Connection, pay off Outpost's secured debt and provide funds for working capital. The loan was to be secured by all of Outpost's assets. Fry's operates electronics stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Oregon.