A group of investors who wanted to buy the assets of Eden Prairie-based Evine Live have withdrawn their offer after getting a tepid response from the home shopping network.
The group included Marvin Segal, a former Evine executive, as well as Jim Morrison, CEO of StarShop, a New York-based startup in New York. They made three overtures to the company, but were rebuffed.
"We just can't leave it out there forever," said Segal. "We had to pull it back...All we ever got was a two-sentence response saying the company was not for sale."
They had hoped to reinvigorate the struggling network by tapping YouTube celebrities and other social media influencers to grow its audience as well as be adding a Spanish-language channel and an enhanced mobile experience.
The TV shopping industry is in the midst of major upheaval as younger consumers cut the cord and online retailers such as Amazon are growing at a fast pace. Over the summer, QVC and the Home Shopping Network, the two biggest players in the space who have faced declining sales, announced a deal to merge.
Meanwhile, at Evine Live, activist shareholders took control of the board in 2014 and put in new management. There was more executive turnover in 2016 with Bob Rosenblatt, the board chairman, taking over as CEO. Under him, the company has been launching a flurry of new brands, transitioning to HD, and rebalancing the merchandise mix to focus on more profitable goods.
The company was hoping to finally show growth in the second half of this year. But last month, it reported a slight drop in revenue in the third quarter, saying sales would have been up if not for the impact from hurricanes.
During a conference call with analysts, executives were asked about the investors' group purchase offer.
Tim Peterman, Evine's chief financial officer, said its board evaluates all such communications from investors.
"We are flattered by the interest that everybody recognizes that we are undervalued," he said, according to a transcript of the call. "When you look out at the opportunity for us from stakeholders perspective we're just starting our growth phase."