Italian Food Firm Bites into Netgrocer.com

Seeking to take gain a foothold in the online grocery field, leading
international food company Parmalat
SpA
Monday invested $30 million in NetGrocer.com.


The investment, equal to a 22.3 percent NetGrocer stake, will
increase the company’s ability to expedite its growth plans and maintain
its leadership position as an e-grocer. Parmalat will gain representation
on NetGrocer’s board of directors and will collaborate on the business
strategy of the online grocer.


All of Parmalat’s current non-perishable products in the U.S. will be
offered for sale on NetGrocer.com throughout the United States, and Parmalat
will have access to NetGrocer.com’s e-commerce technology. For
NetGrocer.com, the deal will nurture it with the
resources it needs to build its international presence in markets such as
Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia.


“Parmalat’s extraordinary business, technological and financial strength and
global presence combined with deep experience on the
worldwide stage present to NetGrocer.com valuable assets with which to take
the company to the next level,” said Jim Chambers, NetGrocer.com’s chairman
and chief executive officer.


Rated highly last month on Gomez Advisor’s Internet grocery services
scorecard, NetGrocer.com enables shoppers in the U.S., to
buy groceries, drug store items, general merchandise and other items online,
with no membership fees, and have them delivered
via Federal Express.


NetGrocer.com’s good fortune comes a week after competitor Peapod.com Inc. (PPOD)
saw the bottom fall out beneath it when CEO Bill Malloy resigned, citing
health reasons. This quickly prompted Apollo Management LP, Yucaipa Cos.,
Pequot Capital Management Inc. and GRP II LP, to renege on a $120 million
investment in the online grocer.

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