Petters Group Buys uBid

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Petters Group LLC, Minneapolis, announced yesterday its acquisition of, a business-to-consumer auction and fixed-price e-commerce marketplace and CMGI Inc. subsidiary.

UBid, Chicago, is a retail e-commerce marketplace that provides consumers and businesses merchandise below wholesale prices from manufacturers such as Sony, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Compaq and more than 1,000 other suppliers.

The company becomes part of Takumi Interactive, a majority-owned company of the Petters Group. UBid executives Robert H. Tomlinson Jr. and Timothy E. Takesue have assumed executive positions at Takumi Interactive. Tomlinson, previously uBid's chief financial officer, is president. Takesue, part of uBid's founding management team and most recently its senior vice president of merchandising, is executive vice president, merchandising.

"We will benefit from their established relationships with manufacturers," Petters Group spokeswoman Mary Pernula said. "There are sourcing synergies. They will provide us with an additional distribution channel for merchandise."

She would not comment when asked about a purchase price.

Petters Group consists of multiple operating companies involved in the buying, selling and financing of consumer merchandise. Former Fingerhut chief executive Ted Deikel and Petters Group president/CEO Tom Petters bought Fingerhut from Federated Department Stores in July.

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