US: Wine.com gets equity boost, new CEO
Wine.com has received a healthy cash injection and a new CEO.
The US online wine retailer said yesterday (22 June) that it had taken delivery of US$12m in new equity. At the same time, it said that e-commerce veteran Rich Bergsund had come onboard as CEO.
The financing is structured as a rights offering, enabling all accredited shareholders to participate, with a final close on any additional funding occurring in mid-August. Assuming all shareholders participate up to their pro-rata share, the company could raise an additional US$5.7m.
"This financing simplifies the company's capital structure, making it easier to create strong incentives for the management team and better position the company for future capital formation and value creation," said Rob Manning, the company's chairman and a general partner of Baker Capital.
Wine.com said that the financing will be used to continue to reposition the company following the departure of the prior management team last year, and to implement a new strategy developed under Baker Capital's leadership beginning in August of 2005.
Regarding Bergsund's appointment, Manning said: "We are delighted to have someone of Rich's calibre joining the company. Rich has a strong track record turning around businesses and driving them to positions of leadership, profit and growth."
Bergsund added: "My focus will be in two areas - running an efficient organisation and bringing more value to our customers. I see the potential to do both and to get Wine.com on a track of profitable growth in the years ahead."
Bergsund was most recently the founder and CEO of IdeaForest, an online hobby and crafts retailer. Prior to this, he was a partner with Bain & Company, specialising in consumer businesses.
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