Liberty Interactive Acquires HSN, Boosts Online Portfolio

Liberty Interactive Corporation 's QVCA QVC division recently completed the acquisition of the remaining 61.8% of the home-shopping platform HSN Inc. in an all-stock deal worth $2.1 billion. QVC owns 38.2% of HSN. The deal was closed post shareholders' approval on Dec 29. With this buyout, HSN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive. The deal was announced on Jul 6, 2017.

The newly-combined company will have $14 billion in revenues and 23 million customers around the world. The merged entity will result in the third-largest online site, behind Inc. AMZN and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s WMT e-commerce business.

The acquisition will provide increased scale and competitive position for the QVC unit. It will also generate synergies through cost reduction and revenue growth opportunities. Further, it will increase the development of eCommerce, mobile and OTT (over-the-top) platforms.

HSN consists of two portfolios - HSN and Cornerstone. The portfolios will be operational as separate brands. HSN operates primarily through television home shopping programming, digital commerce sites, mobile applications and outlet stores. Cornerstone comprises leading home and apparel lifestyle brands - Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements. It distributes catalogs, has 16 retail and outlet stores and digital sales sites.

Post the closure of the deal, HSN will maintain its Florida headquarters at St. Petersburg. Mike George, QVC's president and CEO, will oversee HSN. Mike Fitzharris, formerly chairman of QVC Japan, will be HSN's president. Claire Spofford, former president of Cornerstone-brand Garnet Hill, will become president of Cornerstone. They will be reporting to Mike George. Meanwhile, HSN board member Fiona Dias will join Liberty Interactive's board.

The stock is likely to attract more investors in the near future, backed by its ongoing and pending buyouts. The previously announced transaction between Liberty Interactive and General Communication, Inc. and subsequent split-off of Liberty Ventures is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. If the pending deal with General Communication goes through, the QVC Group, including wholly-owned subsidiaries QVC, Inc., zulily and HSN, will become an asset-backed stock. Liberty Interactive will then be renamed QVC Group, Inc. Notably, asset-based stocks are considered highly valuable.

The combination of QVC, HSN and zulily will boost customer experience with innovative products, strengthening existing brands and attract customers.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Liberty Interactive carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Liberty Interactive portrays an impressive price performance. In the past three months, shares of the company have returned 3.6% compared with the industry 's rally of 1.6%.

Key Pick

A better-ranked stock in the broader Retail-Wholesale sector is Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The company portrays a positive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the previous four quarters, with an average beat of 14.9%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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