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Online Whoesaler Boxed Acquired After Filing for Bankruptcy

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Tech Crunch

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, online wholesale retailer Boxed has been acquired. U.S.-based regional distributor MSG Distributors, Inc. announced this morning its acquisition of and “other intellectual property portfolios and affiliates” in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition price was not disclosed, but it’s not likely a high-value deal for a company that had raised north of $318 million through its lifetime, according to data from PitchBook.

MSG says it will continue to serve Boxed customers, vendors and brands following the acquisition.

Founded in 2013, Boxed’s original premise was to offer consumers an online version of something like Costco or Sam’s Club, where they could buy in bulk — but without having to worry about annual membership fees or driving back and forth to the stores. Instead, the bulk items would ship to their doorstep.

In the years that followed, Boxed reportedly rejected a $400 million buyout offer from grocer Kroger in 2018, then later partnered with one of Asia’s largest retailers (Aeon) in 2021 for an expansion. At the time, Boxed had more than 7 million registered users and reported it was close to profitability.

In 2021, Boxed completed a reverse merger, acquiring Seven Oaks Acquisition in a $900 million SPAC deal in order to begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol BOXD. The transaction was expected to provide Boxed with about $334 million in net cash proceeds, including a $120 million private investment from investors such as Brigade Capital Management, Avanda Investment Management and Onex Credit, Reuters reported.

But it’s clear Boxed struggled to make the economics of online grocery work, and it wasn’t alone. Other food delivery services have shut down or announced layoffs, including in particular fast-delivery services like Food Rocket’s 2023 closure and Gopuff’s multiple rounds of cost-cutting, among others. In addition, various regional services like Peapod and Bay Area-based Zero Grocery have either scaled back or closed over the past few years.

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