US: Wine.com boss speaks out over sale rumours
Wine.com's business has been turned around, according to its CEO
The CEO of US-based online wine retailer wine.com has hit back at speculation the company is struggling and being sold by its private equity owners.
The website Growth Capitalist reported earlier this week that Wine.com owner Baker Capital has hired Credit Suisse to sell the company, but buyers have “failed to show any interest”. It was also claimed that despite US$70m of annual sales, the business “remains unprofitable”.
Rich Bergsund, Wine.com’s CEO admitted the company had struggled in the past, but turned “cash flow positive” in 2009 and recorded a profit in 2010, off the back of $45m in sales. He added: “We closed our fiscal year in March 2011 with $1.9m in cash flow on revenue of $56m.”
In the blogpost on the company’s website, Bergsund said the site is “basically always for sale”, because it is majority-owned by a private equity group.
Over the last four years, Wine.com’s traffic has grown 2.4 times to over 15.6m visits, while bottles sold and shipped have nearly doubled to 2.7m, he said. “Double-digit growth continues today, and we’re more bullish than ever about our innovation pipeline,” Bergsund added.
San Francisco-based Wine.com, set-up in 1998 as eVineyard.com, claims to be the leading online wine retailer in the US by sales.
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