RealTime IT News

BUY.com Secures $165 Million Equity Investment

Internet retailer and e-commerce portal BUY.com said that a syndicate led by Softbank Capital Partners (SBCP) has agreed to purchase $165 million in BUY.com stock from the company and a group of existing shareholders.

Other investors include Vivendi S.A. and the epartners Capital Ltd. subsidiary of News Corp.

In conjunction with the investment, BUY.com and Softbank and its partners said they plan to form joint ventures in Europe, the United Kingdom and Japan, expanding the business model overseas. Negotiations regarding details of this agreement are currently under way.

Upon completion of the financing, Softbank will hold approximately 31 percent of the common stock of BUY.com, assuming the conversion of its preferred stock.

"We believe that BUY.com will be one of the leading Internet retail stores worldwide," said Masayoshi Son, chairman of Softbank.

"We are confident that BUY.com's visionary and highly successful business approach, coupled with an excellent leadership team, will continue to challenge the way consumers purchase their goods on a global basis."

BUY.com named Bill Burnham, former Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. analyst and now a general partner of Softbank Capital Partners, to its board of directors.

Softbank Corp. has ownership positions in more than 100 Internet companies. In Japan its activities encompass distribution, publishing, Internet media platforms, a broad range of e-commerce businesses, and joint ventures with companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo! Inc., the Nasdaq stock market, and others.

In the US, Softbank is the largest shareholder in companies such as Yahoo! Inc., E-TRADE Group Inc. and ZDNet.

Founded in October 1996, BUY.com sells computer hardware and peripherals, software, books, videos, DVDs, computer games, music and surplus equipment and operates seven online specialty stores accessible from the main site:

BUYCOMP.com, BUYSOFT.com, BUYBOOKS.com, BUYVIDEOS.com, BUYMUSIC.com, BUYGAMES.com and BUYSURPLUS.com.