By Paul Pannone
In a usually slow time of the year the week of December 12th, 2011 goes down as one of the more active weeks of the year. Two major deal announcements involving tuxedo rentals within 24 hours of each other were overthrown as the week’s top story by a Celebrity throwing a major digital company under the bus. Again, within 24 hours of the story’s release a major stock position in the company was sold to investors.
Samantha Goldberg exposed Wedding Wire and other online wedding directory listing services for practices that could prove illegal. Goldberg, trashed by a bride on Wedding Wire, returned the favor– plus interest. Goldberg threw Wedding Wire’s practices under the bus and garnered growing support from wedding industry members coming forth with similar stories.
Martha Stewart dumps Wedding Wire and raises millions for her struggling company.
Ironically the story gets more interesting as Martha Stewart volleyed their shares of Wedding Wire to Catalyst investors, an aggressive private equity firm.
In a press release by Martha Stewart the follow is said;
“As part of the investment agreement, MSLO and WeddingWire signed a commercial agreement through which WeddingWire will offer its proprietary tools on the Weddings section of marthastewart.com, allowing users ready access to a vast network of local vendors and online wedding-planning tools. MSLO may also integrate similar tools using WeddingWire’s technology across its other content verticals. WeddingWire’s main web property, www.weddingwire.com, will receive Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia content, which will include integrated links to drive traffic to marthastewart.com. In addition, WeddingWire has designated MSLO as its exclusive national advertising sales force for the duration of the agreement, and the two companies will share the advertising revenues sold on the site.”
The strong press release still shows faith in Wedding Wire, keeping a working relationship alive but Martha Stewart went for the money and dumped their major stake in the company– about 8 million shares– and garnered over $7 million dollars. Martha Stewart Living bought a 40 percent stake of Wedding Wire in 2008 but looks to restructure its business in a difficult economy.
In a wave of strategic partnering and consolidation identified by this newZ source earlier this year Men’s Wearhouse and Vera Wang teamed up in the men’s formal wear category to create a high-end rental.
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