When most of us go shopping at Macy's
The Knot is buying back a 10.7% stake in The Knot that Macy's acquired when the two agreed to team up for an online bridal registry. The two companies will continue to be partners.
This is a win-win deal. As a cash-rich but thinly traded dot-com, The Knot's attempts to buy back shares in the open market would have speculatively -- and temporarily -- boosted its stock price. It won't have to overpay now. Macy's is handing over its nearly 3.7 million shares for $37.7 million, or $10.26 a share.
The move is likely to revisit the buyout chatter that never seems to go away with the web-based wedding-planning specialist.
It was Merriman Capital that issued a research note this past fall, suggesting that Disney
I have a different list of gentleman callers.
(Nasdaq: YHOO): This wouldn't be the needle-moving acquisition that shareholders crave, but it's hard to argue with the allure of selling display advertising against a site catering to brides-to-be.
(Nasdaq: IACI): The Knot's model would fit right in with Barry Diller's fitting collection of properties including Citysearch's city-specific venue listings, Gifts.com's referral service, and Service Magic's qualified leads for contractors.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
(NYSE: MSO): Stewart's site is already a popular hub for wedding planning and floral arrangements. It's the least likely to make a move given its financial limitations, but it's the most logical fit.
Acquiring the Macy's stake will make it that much cheaper for a buyout to happen, since there will now be fewer shares to pay a premium on.
The Knot would be smart to listen. It doesn't want to become an old maid. Motley Fool Rule Breakers recently booted The Knot from its scorecard. It was my original recommendation, but I just wasn't happy with its lackluster performance. Obviously, The Knot was going to be in a funk during the recession as engaged couples either put off their vows or scaled back on lavish weddings, but their turnaround has been slow in coming. Even now, analysts see single-digit revenue growth in both 2011 and 2012. Earnings will grow much faster, but there are more compelling dot-com growth stocks out there.
I hope The Knot takes the hint and marries well.
I'll be the one tying a string of cans behind its "Just Married" car.
Do you think The Knot will be acquired within the next year? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz got married years before TheKnot.com was around and he regrets that. He could have had a punctual person working the video camera that day. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, except for Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.