Investors led by Chicago-based Sterling Partners and its Georgia-based Innotrac "fulfillment" group, which picks up online orders and ships products to customers from U.S. and European warehouses for Target, Ann Taylor and other big retailers, this week agreed to pay $925 million for eBay Enterprise, the King of Prussia-based online-shopping fulfillment group whose clients include Ikea, PetSmart and Sports Authority.
EBay built the Enterprise business around its $2.4 billiion, 2011 purchase of the former GSI Commerce, the Michael Rubin- and Michael Golden-founded company which employed 5,000 in King of Prussia and at warehouses in Kentucky and elsewhere but has lately lost clients as more retailers bring their online operations in-house. Rubin still controls Fanatics, ShopRunner, RueLaLa, businesses he built at GSI. Golden is a diversified real estate, food and tech investor.
Besides Sterling and Innotrac, the buyers' the group include London-based Permira, whose investments includeHugo Boss women's clothing and Dr. Maertens boots, along with Toronto-based Longview Asset Management.