FTD files for bankruptcy protection

  • Downers Grove-based FTD Companies is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will break the 109-year-old company business into pieces.

    Downers Grove-based FTD Companies is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will break the 109-year-old company business into pieces. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 6/3/2019 2:22 PM

Downers Grove-based FTD Companies is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will break the 109-year-old business into pieces.

The floral and gift delivery company said Monday it has sold its North America and Latin America businesses, including ProFlowers, to an affiliate of Nexus Capital for $95 million. It sold its Interflora business in the U.K. to a subsidiary of The Wonderful Company for $59.5 million. Its other businesses, including ProFlowers, Shari's Berries and Personal Creations, will continue to operate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

FTD has nonbinding letters of intent with a strategic investor to buy Personal Creations, as well as with Farids & Co., LLC, owned by the founder of Edible Arrangements, to acquire Shari's Berries.

"The important actions we are taking today are designed to enable us to continue supporting our network of florists and business partners and serving consumers while we work to complete the initiatives coming out of our strategic review," said FTD President and CEO Scott Levin. He added the proceedings would help the company "provide an orderly forum to facilitate sales of our businesses as going concerns and to enable us to address a near-term debt maturity."

Founded in 1910 in Detroit as Florists Telegraph Delivery, FTD was the dominant flower-by-wire delivery service through most of the 20th Century. The company moved to Downers Grove in 1997 and became a publicly-traded company two years later. The company was taken private two times between 1999 and 2013, when it was spun off from United Online, creating FTD Companies, according to the company's website.

The growth of online floral delivery services cut heavily into FTD's market share, despite the company's efforts to acquire online floral businesses and expand into gift deliveries. The company has not turned a profit in the past four years.

Last July, the company went through restructuring in an effort to save $18 million to $23 million in costs in 2019. CEO John Walden stepped down and was replaced by Levin.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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