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Just a year after last sale, BodyBuilding.com again under new ownership

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New owners recently took control of Boise-based BodyBuilding.com – the third owner in less than a year.

Expedia Group quietly sold the ecommerce and media business in May, 2020. It didn’t issue a news release or explain it in detail in SEC filings. Expedia CFO Eric Hart briefly mentioned the sale during the company’s most recent earnings call, saying the sale came about due to a “simplification effort.” The company didn’t disclose the purchase price.

Last July, Expedia Group acquired BodyBuilding.com from a related company – Liberty Expedia Holdings.

Phoenix-based private equity firm The Najafi Companies made the purchase. The firm also owns stakes in businesses like The Phoenix Suns and Book of the Month club. It used to own stakes in brands like Pert Plus, Network Solutions, SkyMall and The Ritz-Carlton.

BBcom under Expedia and Liberty Expedia saw slumping revenue in recent years. It sold its Boise headquarters to WaFd Bank and repeatedly laid off employees – including as recently as January.

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The BBcom acquisition included the BodySpace social networking site and digital personal trainer business BodyFit.

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Expedia Group focuses primarily on travel, and saw a rough quarterly earnings performance in the most-recent quarter. It also assailed Google as a “problem” for players in the travel and ecommerce spaces.

Najafi recently popped up in the local news space, when it said it would take part in a bid to buy TEGNA, Inc. TEGNA owns KTVB in Boise and KTFT in Twin Falls. The Najafi offer, in connection with religious broadcaster TBN, came just as the COVID-19 pandemic started to impact the US. It is one of several groups that made bids for the broadcaster.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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