There have been reports that Sofa.com, a furniture manufacturer and retailer, has been sold. According to an article in The Telegraph a couple of days ago, “CBPE, formerly Close Brothers Private Equity, which also owns the CÃ´te restaurant chain, is understood to have paid between £40m and £50m for the online sofa business.” Financial Times also published a story with this news.
The story of how the owners acquired Sofa.com for $215,000 is possibly one of the craziest I’ve heard about in the domain business. The short version is that Pat Reeves and Rohan Blacker negotiated with who they thought was the owner of Sofa.com, and they reached a deal at $215,000. They flew to New York to meet with the seller, and they sent a wire transfer to the seller to buy the domain name. It turns out, the supposed seller wasn’t the company owner. You can read the full story, which was published in 2008 on the Real Business website.
Not only is this an extraordinary story, I still think about it whenever I am in a negotiation to buy a domain name from a medium-sized or large company. I do my best to ensure that the other party is authorized to negotiate and make deals on behalf of the company that owns the domain name so I don’t end up in a situation like this one. Yes, it ended well for the buyers of Sofa.com, but I am sure it was a nerve wracking time for them as well.
Aside from the crazy story about the original sale of the Sofa.com domain name, the recent sale of the Sofa.com business is also great. I always enjoy reading about companies whose businesses are built on excellent keyword .com domain names.
Thanks to Sahar for sharing the news.
IMO, the highest sale for what was more or less “a domain name” is Marc Cuban selling for Broadcast.com to Yahoo in 1999 for $7 Billion – right at the PEAK of of dot-com 1.0
Broadcast.com was not much more than a couple of page website with less than 10 employees. Clearly the domain was the target of question. Sadly Yahoo never even did anything with Broadcast.com, for the past 15 it simply 401 redirects to yahoo.com
That’s a sale of a profitable business though (Sofa.com has sales for 20.2 mln £ , with an Ebitda of 5.3 mln £), not only a domain.
Matter of interest…I sold iSofa.com a few years ago to unrelated parties to Sofa.com…
…Horrible feeling I might have let that lovely ‘i’ domain go too cheaply… 🙁