Gateway Mercury to Buy Flower-Delivery Firm FTD Out of Bankruptcy

FTD ran into trouble when it was slow to adapt to technology advances.


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Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Private-equity firm Gateway Mercury Holdings LLC is buying flower-delivery service FTD Cos. out of bankruptcy following a court-supervised auction for $118 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The purchase price represents an increase from Gateway Mercury’s $95 million stalking-horse, or lead, bid. Companies in bankruptcy often select a stalking-horse to spur bidding and set a floor price for the assets on the block.

1-800 Flowers.com Inc. and another buyer acquired other business segments, with all of FTD’s assets fetching a total of $158 million, the person said.

Gateway Mercury is an affiliate of California-based Nexus Capital Management LP.

FTD filed for bankruptcy protection in June and put its assets on the auction block.

The company, whose roots date to 1910, ran into trouble when it was slow to adapt to technology advances in the industry and took on debt to pay for its 2014 acquisition of former rival ProFlowers.

The company was founded when a group of florists agreed to exchange orders among themselves to aid delivery of perishable goods over long distances.

Write to Alexander Gladstone at alexander.gladstone@wsj.com

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