UPDATE 1-1-800-Flowers.com to buy gourmet food supplier Harry & David

Tue Sep 2, 2014 10:22am EDT

(Adds details, background, shares)

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Gifts retailer 1-800-Flowers.com Inc said it would buy Harry & David Holdings Inc, known for its gourmet food brands such as Wolferman's English muffins and Cushman's HoneyBells citrus products, for about $142.5 million.

1-800-Flowers.com's shares rose as much as 11 percent in early trading on Tuesday.

Harry & David started nearly 80 years ago with selling pears through mail under the Royal Riviera brand. Since then, the company has expanded its portfolio to other fruits and Moose Munch popcorn snacks.

Harry & David filed for bankruptcy protection in early 2011 as customers cut orders for its fruit baskets in a weak U.S. economy. The company exited bankruptcy later that year.

1-800-Flowers.com said Harry & David would operate as its wholly owned subsidiary after the acquisition, which is expected to close in October.

The deal, which is expected to add to 1-800-Flowers.com's revenue and profit in the current fiscal year, will push its revenue beyond the $1 billion mark, the company said in a statement.

1-800-Flowers.com reported revenue of $735.5 million for the year ended 2013.

The company said it secured financing for the deal from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo Bank.

Wells Fargo Securities and Centerview Partners were 1-800-Flowers.com's financial advisers for the deal, while Piper Jaffray & Co advised Harry & David.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP was 1-800-Flowers.com's legal adviser and Jones Day advised Harry & David.

1-800-Flowers.com's shares were up 7.8 percent at $5.55 in early trading on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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