Are Dutch-style stay auctions the subsequent factor for ShopHQ?

Eden Prairie-based iMedia Brands Inc. plans to spend approximately $ 95 million to acquire a Germany-based interactive retail company that specializes in selling items through a proprietary auction process.

The deal with 123tv gives iMedia access to markets in Germany and Austria as well as the know-how and technology to sell items through live and automated Dutch-style auctions.

iMedia is the parent company of ShopHQ, the cable, satellite and broadcast home shopping TV network.

Tim Peterman, CEO of iMedia, said that the introduction of 123tv’s auction process and technology to the US could disrupt the digital shopping experience.

“We believe that gamifying the consumer’s emotional shopping experience is the ultimate disruption to the status quo,” Peterman said in a press release. “The entrepreneurial team at 123tv with its proprietary technologies is experts in this shopping disruption.”

Dutch auctions can be conducted in a number of ways, but generally rely on the bidders to set the price for the item, which can create a game-like atmosphere. In some Dutch auctions the price starts high and then the price goes down until a bid or bids are accepted.

Similar to ShopHQ, the 123tv Group sells clothing, watches, jewelry, health and wellness products as well as household and garden products via TV channels, online and a mobile app.

Founded in 2004, 123tv is now a $ 183.4 million company with 120 employees.

Profits have risen sharply in recent years, with profits of $ 6.1 million in 2020 compared to about $ 1 million last year.

iMedia had sales of $ 454.2 million for the last fiscal year ended January 31st. Annual sales declined for the fifth year in a row and consistently posted net losses during this period.

123tv is primarily owned by ARCUS Capital AG, an independent investment company based in Germany, and its investment partners BE Beteiligungen and IRIS Capital.

iMedia plans to pay for the acquisition in part through a new $ 75 million bond. The final transaction price could increase as much as $ 50 million depending on the achievement of revenue targets.

iMedia expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. It requires the approval of the German and Austrian governments.

IMedia’s shares closed at $ 5.65 per share, up 6.6% in trading on Wednesday. For the past 52 weeks, stocks ranged from $ 3.93 to $ 10.48 per share.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin auctions spaceflight seat for $28 million

A New Shepard missile takes off on a test flight.

Blue origin

Jeff Bezos“Space company Blue Origin auctioned a seat for its upcoming first manned space flight for $ 28 million on Saturday.

The successful bidder, whose name has not been published, flies with the to the edge of space Amazon Founder and his brother Mark on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket due to launch on July 20th. The company plans to announce the name of the auction winner in the coming weeks.

The bidding started at $ 4.8 million but exceeded $ 20 million in the first few minutes of the auction. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to Blue Origin’s education-focused nonprofit Club for the Future, which supports children interested in future STEM careers.

Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut and orbital sales at Blue Origin, said during the auction webcast that New Shepard’s first passenger flight will carry four people, including Bezos, his brother, the auction winner and a fourth person who will be announced later .

Autonomous space travel

New Shepard, a rocket that propels a capsule to over 340,000 feet, has flown more than a dozen successful test flights with no passengers. including one in April at the company’s site in the Texas desert. It is designed for up to six people and flies autonomously – without the need for a pilot. The capsule has massive windows to allow passengers to view Earth for about three minutes in weightlessness before returning to Earth.

Blue Origin’s system launches vertically and both the rocket and capsule are reusable. The boosters land vertically on a concrete slab at the company’s facility in Van Horn, Texas, while the capsules land with a set of parachutes.

The inside of the newest New Shepard capsule

Blue origin

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 and still owns the company. Financing through stock sales of his Amazon Warehouse.

July 20th is notable because it also marks the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Branson and Musk

VSS Unity ignites its rocket engine shortly after take-off for its third space flight on May 22, 2021.

Virgo galactic

Bezos and other billionaires Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson are in a space race, but in different ways. Bezos’ Blue Origin and Branson’s Virgo galactic are competing to take passengers to the edge of space on short flights, a sector known as suborbital tourism, while Musk’s SpaceX carries private passengers on additional multi-day flights in so-called orbital tourism.

Both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic developed rocket-powered starships, but that’s where the similarities end. While Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches vertically from the ground, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system is released into the air and returns to Earth on glide for a runway landing, like an airplane.

Virgin Galactic’s system is also flown by two pilots, while Blue Origin’s system takes off without one. Branson’s company has also flown a test space flight with a passenger on board, though the company still has three space tests left before it starts to fly commercial customers – which is expected to start in 2022.

SpaceX launches its Crew Dragon spacecraft to orbit on its reusable Falcon 9 rocket has so far sent 10 astronauts on three missions to the International Space Station.

In addition to government flights, Musk’s company plans to launch several private astronaut missions in the coming year – starting with the purely civil Inspiration4 mission that’s planned for September. SpaceX is also launching at least four private missions for Axiom Space, from the beginning of next year.

Blue Origin’s auction raised $ 28 million, but a seat on a suborbital spaceship is usually much cheaper. Virgin Galactic has historically sold reservations between $ 200,000 and $ 250,000 per ticket and recently charged the Italian Air Force about $ 500,000 per ticket for a training room flight.

Musk’s orbital missions are more expensive than suborbital flights, with NASA SpaceX paying about $ 55 million per seat for space flights to the ISS.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, named “Resilience”, is docked at the International Space Station.


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