NEW YORK — Bluefly Inc. has a guardian angel in the form of George Soros and Soros Private Equity Partners.
The financier granted the off-price fashion e-tailer $2 million in new capital, erased more than $3 million of its debt and exchanged $2.1 million of its Series 2002 Convertible Preferred Stock.
In return, Bluefly issued Soros about $7.1 million of its Series D Convertible Preferred Stock that will earn dividends at the rate of 12 percent annually, payable in cash or stock, at the company’s option, upon conversion.
Additionally, Soros made a standby commitment to provide an additional $1 million in funding.
This latest infusion increased Soros’ stake in Bluefly to about 89.7 percent from near 86.9 percent.
Bluefly investors were delighted by Soros’ confidence and traded up shares of the firm 17 cents, or 22.1 percent, to close at 94 cents on the Nasdaq Friday.
Due to the financing, the conversion price of the firm’s Series B and Series C Preferred Stock decreased to 76 cents from 93 cents. This will create a $225,000 noncash charge in the first quarter.
So far, Soros has pumped about $50 million into Bluefly, more than $40 million of which was invested after March 2000 when investors began to fall out of love with all things Web.
"I don’t think [Soros] ever invested in us because they wanted to invest in the Internet," said president and chief executive Ken Seiff in a telephone interview. "From the early days, their interest was driven by our business model and our team and the ability of the Internet to modernize the off-price industry."
Companies with a business focus on the Web may be down in the stock market, but they are not out, he said. "The performances of Internet companies that are still here today have been nothing short of extraordinary. The levels of customer service and experience provided by Internet retailers is surpassing that provided by traditional brick-and-mortar retailers."
So how has Bluefly avoided going the way of so many Internet firms, as well as the promotional sock puppet? "When you’re looking to raise money, there’s nothing like having a great team that has, in most cases, performed up to or exceeded its plans," said Seiff.As reported, Bluefly sustained a $1.7 million loss during the fourth quarter, partially attributable to marketing initiatives, which helped lift sales 24.7 percent to $9.9 million.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion