Private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group LP has completed the purchase of online retailer Bluefly Inc. The transaction, announced in May, follows Clearlake’s $35 million acquisition of Agilysys Inc.’s retail services unit in July and the purchase of Chicago data service Inventus LLC for an undisclosed amount in June.
New York-based Bluefly sells designer clothes, accessories and beauty products at discounts through its website. Founded in 1998, the company sells more than 350 brands, discounted up to 75 percent off. In 2011, Bluefly expanded, launching Belle & Clive, a members-only shopping website, and Eyefly, an online glasses retailer.
Prior to the transaction, Bluefly had been operating at a loss since [date missing. Mergers & Acquisitions added Bluefly to our Distressed Company Watch list [link: http://www.themiddlemarket.com/news/distressed-company-watch-240674-1.html] after the company indicated doubts about its ability to continue without liquidation in an April 16 SEC filing.
On May 17, Bluefly said that if it were unable to complete a proposed strategic transaction, or secure additional financing, the company would be unable to sustain its operations.
The Los Angeles private equity firm acquired more than 90 percent of Bluefly’s shares from Rho Ventures VI LP, Quantum Industrial Partners LDC, Maverick Fund USA Ltd., Maverick Fund LDC and Maverick Fund II Ltd and Prentice Consumer Partners LP, for $0.0076 per share. Bluefly also issued 2.85 million new shares of common stock to Clearlake as part of the deal, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.
Clearlake focuses on corporate divestitures, recapitalizations, buyouts, reorganizations, turnaround and other private equity investments. The firm manages $1.4 billion in capital. Clearlake also invested in watch company Swiss Watch International in December. Since its founding in 2006, Clearlake has invested $3 billion-plus in more than 50 deals, including buying a division of Archer Ltd. for $244 million in May and picking up Mformation Technologies Inc. in September.