Liberty Media Buys Provide Commerce For $477M

Englewood Colorado-based Liberty Media said this morning that it is acquiring San Diego-based Provide Commerce, the operator of ProFlowers, Cherry Moon Farms, Uptown Prime, and Secret Spoon. Liberty Media agreed to pay $477M in cash for Provide Commerce, in a deal which has been approved by the board of both of the companies. Provide Commerce's online e-commerce stores sell grower-shipped flowers, gourmet fruit baskets, steaks, and other gifts via the Web. Liberty said that Provide Commerce will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary of the company, and indicated that it will use its media properties to drive e-commerce sales at Provide Commerce. The transaction is expected to close in second quarter 2006. Liberty Media owns 98% of the home shopping network QVC, in addition to the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Starz, and IAC/InterActiveCorp.