MVP.com Makes a Play for PlanetOutdoors

SAN FRANCISCO (08/09/2000) - In the latest sign of consolidation in the Internet retail industry, sports retailer MVP.com Inc., agreed Tuesday to buy PlanetOutdoors.com, an outdoor gear and apparel Web site.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but investors in Boulder-Co.-based PlanetOutdoors would invest additional money into closely held MVP.com, a company backed by sports legends Michael Jordan, John Elway and Wayne Gretzky.

PlanetOutdoors began searching for a partner earlier this year, after the financial markets turned sour for money-losing Internet retailers, according to David Secunda, president and CEO of PlanetOutdoors. "Outdoor recreation is a niche," Secunda says. "Will the public markets support an IPO of an outdoors-specific company? That's not extremely likely. But MVP may have enough scale to appeal to the public market."

MVP.com launched in December of 1999, with backing from Benchmark Capital. The company has an agreement to be the e-commerce arm of CBS Corp. (CBS) ' SportsLine.com (SPLN) , the second-largest sports site on the Web.

"By combining PlanetOutdoors' merchandising and customer service strengths with MVP.com's technology, fulfillment and marketing expertise, we are creating a superior site to attract more customers and lead this market," MVP.com chief John Costello said in a statement.

MVP.com said it would continue to maintain and promote the PlanetOutdoors site but that customers also would be able to shop at PlanetOutdoors by entering through MVP.com.

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