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Leonard Green completes $754m exit

The Los Angeles-based buyout shop has sold floral delivery business FTD Group to United Online for roughly $754m in cash and stock, four years after purchasing the business in a $422m take-private. The deal value is roughly $46 million below the original announced purchased price.

US private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners has sold floral delivery service company FTD Group for $754 million (€512 million), roughly $46 million below the original announced purchase price.

Internet consumer product and service retailer United Online completed the acquisition of Illinois-based FTD for a total consideration to FTD stockholders of $441 million, consisting of $307 million in cash and 12.3 million shares of United Online common stock. The remainder of the $754 million price tag consists of the repayment of FTD debt and expenses associated with the transaction.

Southern California-based United financed the transaction with a $425 million credit facility from wells Fargo Bank.

When the deal was originally announced last April, United Online had agreed to pay $800 million, including $456 million in cash and equity to shareholders.

FTD delivers floral and specialty gift products to both consumers and retail florists throughout the US, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Los Angeles-based Leonard Green purchased then NASDAQ-listed FTD for roughly $422 million in February of 2004, subsequently steering the company through the acquisition of Interflora, a UK-based equivalent to FTD.  The firm made the initial investment from its fourth fund, which closed on $1.85 billion in 2003.

The firm manages roughly $9 billion in capital, and is currently investing its fifth fund, Green Equity Investors V, which closed on $5.3 billion last year.

Prior to the Leonard Green buyout, FTD was partially owned by Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital.