Amazon Closes Zappos Acquisition

Amazon.com, Inc. completed its acquisition of Zappos.com. Thanks to an increase in Amazon's stock price, Amazon will pay $1.2 billion, or $117.40 a share, for the business, up from $928 million when the deal was first announced on July 22.  As expected, the Zappos management team will remain intact and the company will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary with headquarters in Las Vegas, NV. Approximately 10 million AMZN shares were exchanged.


In a letter to employees entitled “It's official!,” Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com, wrote last week, “We plan to continue to run Zappos the way we have always run Zappos — continuing to do what we believe is best for our brand, our culture, and our business. We've been spending the past few months obtaining all the proper government approvals, and I'm happy to say that we officially closed the deal at the split second between Halloween (10/31/09) and All Saints' Day (11/1/09). From a practical point of view, we've switched out our previous board of directors with a new management committee that is composed of people from Zappos as well as Amazon.”


Hsieh noted that he and CFO Alfred Lin will be getting Kindles and gift certificates for employees as closing gifts.

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Amazon Closes Zappos Acquisition

Amazon.com, Inc. completed its acquisition of Zappos.com. Thanks to an increase in Amazon's stock price, Amazon will pay $1.2 billion, or $117.4 a share, for the business,  up from $928 million when the deal was first announced on July 22, 2009.

As expected, the Zappos management team will remain intact and the
company will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary with
headquarters in Las Vegas, NV.

In a letter to employees entitled “It's official!,” Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com, wrote:

Earlier this year, on July 22, we signed an agreement to join forces with Amazon. As I mentioned in my email to employees at the time, we plan to continue to run Zappos the way we have always run Zappos — continuing to do what we believe is best for our brand, our culture, and our business.

You can read the email that I sent to employees here:

http://blogs.zappos.com/ceoletter

We've been spending the past few months obtaining all the proper government approvals, and I'm happy to say that we officially closed the deal at the split second between Halloween (10/31/09) and All Saints' Day (11/1/09). From a practical point of view, we've switched out our previous board of directors with a new management committee that is composed of people from Zappos as well as Amazon.

Our investors and other shareholders exchanged their Zappos.com shares for approximately 10 million Amazon.com shares. Given the closing price on Friday, 10/30/09, for Amazon stock, those shares were valued at approximately $1.2 billion at the time of close.

Alfred and I would once again like to thank our legal and finance teams, as well as our partners and advisors at Fenwick and West and Morgan Stanley, for working around the clock for the last few months to get this deal closed. We would also like to thank Amazon for investing in and believing in the future of the Zappos brand, culture and business.

Now that we're finally closed, the real work begins! It's been a bit strange sitting in a holding pattern the last few months. I'm just glad we're past that awkward stage and can start taking advantage of some of Amazon's resources and expertise to help us take Zappos to the next level.

I'm excited because Amazon supports us in continuing to grow our vision as an independent entity, under the Zappos brand and with our unique culture. Can't wait to see what we can accomplish!


PS: Alfred and I are working on getting the Kindles and gift certificates that we are personally purchasing and giving to employees as closing gifts. We are expecting them to arrive in early December.

PPS: I finally sent the draft of my book, “Delivering Happiness”, to my publisher. It should be out in stores sometime during the first half of next year!

About The Author

Thomas J. Ryan

Thomas J. Ryan Senior Business Editor | SGB Media tryan@sgbonline.com | 917.375.4699

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