Quelle buys Home Shopping Europe

Retailer pays $190 million

BERLIN — KarstadtQuelle, Europe’s leading retailer, has finalized its takeover of shopping channel Home Shopping Europe from Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp.

The Essen-based retailer will pay about Euros 142 million ($190 million) in treasury shares for the channel, known as HSE24. The group may have to fork out an additional $72 million to New York-based IAC if KarstadtQuelle’s share price fails to reach a target price between $47 and $48 million within three years; it’s currently at $33.80.

KarstadtQuelle said HSE24, which will become part of the retailer’s mail order group Primondo, would strengthen the group’s core Quelle brand as Germany’s leading multi-platform provider. Quelle also relies on its rapidly growing Internet portal, its popular catalogs and company shops and consumer electronic centers.

The group said TV sales would “make a major contribution to the future growth of the company,” adding, “Within a few years, e-Commerce and teleshopping are expected to match the sales generated today by traditional catalog business within the Primondo Group.”

Germany’s teleshopping market has enjoyed above-average growth and remains one of retail’s fastest growing areas of sales and continues to generate double-digit growth.

HSE24 last year posted sales of $383 million and has around 1.3 million customers. The channel reaches more than 39 million households in Germany, Austria and Switzerland via cable and satellite.

KarstadtQuelle is headed by former Bertelsmann topper Thomas Middelhoff, who also serves as supervisory board chairman of Senator Entertainment.

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