Buy4Now sells US arm and restructures

15 Sep 2008

In a deal valued at €15m, Dublin-based Buy4Now has sold off its US business to American e-commerce company MyWebGrocer, as well as restructuring its capital shareholdings.

Buy4Now created Ireland’s first online retail portal made up of leading Irish ‘bricks and mortar’ brands such as Superquinn, Atlantic Homecare and Arnotts.

It quickly expanded its portal services to include 20 of the country’s best-known retailers and over 2.5 million products, and then went on to provide software and services to online retailers.

From the outset, Buy4Now intended to expand internationally as an e-commerce software specialist, and it entered the US market in 2004 to provide end-to-end grocery solutions to leading retailers across the US.

Ali Murdoch has resigned as chief executive and director of Buy4Now under the restructuring. Michael Veale, co-founder and sales director, is filling his shoes, although Murdoch will retain a 10pc stake in the company and will remain as acting CEO of Buy4Now USA under its new ownership.

Following the sale of Buy4Now USA, the company will re-orientate its management focus on its existing portfolio and opportunities in the Irish, UK and European markets.

“The sale of Buy4Now USA represents particularly good value for Buy4Now and provides an excellent result for all our shareholders, who have seen a strong return on their initial investment,” said Murdoch.

“It is particularly gratifying to note that Buy4Now has consistently delivered on its strategic ambitions, its profit targets and development goals and that, as a result, the key strategic investors such as Grafton Group, Eircom and Superquinn are remaining committed to their investment in the restructured company.”

Veale, Kevin Murphy (CFO), Dan Murphy (CTO) and Allen Corcoran (professional services director) hold a 53pc shareholding in the restructured company.

Buy4Now will continue to provide hosting services and support to existing US clients via Buy4Now USA, and will benefit from ongoing contracts with the US company in the provision of project management and other services.

By Sorcha Corcoran

Pictured: the website