Season 2 of “Axios on HBO” airs Sundays at 6pm ET/PT. Keep up to date with Axios AM:

Stories

Flower delivery company FTD files for bankruptcy

Man deliverying flowers
Flowers being delivered. Photo: Dário Oliveira/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

FTD (Nasdaq: FTD), the Illinois-based flower delivery network, yesterday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to sell its North America and Latin America businesses (including ProFlowers) to Nexus Capital Management for $95 million.

Why it matters: This is really about an earlier, much-hyped deal gone bad. FTD in 2014 paid $430 million to buy ProFlowers, so it could move big into non-floral gifting and increase its share of the e-commerce consumer flowers business from 8% to 18%. But it struggled to service the merger's $120 million in debt, ultimately unable to make payments due this past weekend.

  • FTD also will sell its U.K.-based Interflora unit to The Wonderful Co. for $59.5 million and signed letters of intent to sell its Personal Creations and Shari’s Berries businesses to undisclosed buyers.

The bottom line: "The deep-rooted middleman for the florist industry traces its lineage to 1910, when it started as a network of U.S. florists who used telegraph communication to trade out-of-town orders, according to the court declaration.It operated as a not-for-profit until 1994, when it was acquired by Perry Capital." — Jeremy Hill, Bloomberg