Henrico-based LL Flooring gets another takeover offer, this time at $2.50 a share

LL Flooring’s headquarters at Libbie Mill Midtown. (BizSense file photo)

A familiar suitor is taking another crack at buying LL Flooring, but this time it wants a discount.

The publicly traded Henrico-based flooring retailer formerly known as Lumber Liquidators disclosed this week its receipt of a takeover offer for all its outstanding shares for $2.50 apiece.

The deal, valued at around $77 million, was proffered by Nevada-based Live Ventures, the same firm that offered to buy LL in October for $5.85 per share in cash. No formal transaction was ever consummated from that offer.

Live Ventures trades on Nasdaq as LIVE and owns multiple companies, including retailer Flooring Liquidators.

Live Ventures’ latest attempt is at least the fourth unsolicited buyout bid LL has received since 2023 and coincides with a steady decline in the company’s share price and bottom line.

Its stock, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LL,” closed Monday at $1.58. That’s down 58 percent this year and down 83 percent since going public in 2007. Its share price peaked in 2013 at $119.

Its market cap has continued to decline since the strategic alternatives announced, dropping from $107 million in August to $48 million as of Monday’s closing bell.

LL’s annual sales have dropped from $993 million in 2021, to $957 million in 2022 and to $779 million last year, according to its latest earnings report.

Its annual losses have also continued to increase during that time. Its last annual profit was $41 million in 2021. It followed that with losses of $12 million in 2022 and $103 million in 2023.

The company has cited weakness in home sales and the home improvement market, as well as difficulties in shipping its materials out of Asia, as reasons for its declining performance.

LL Flooring sign

The company has more than 400 retail locations. (BizSense file photo)

In addition to Live Ventures, a group led by LL founder and former CEO Thomas Sullivan has made multiple attempts to buy the struggling retailer over the last year.

Sullivan, who founded the company as Lumber Liquidators in New England in the mid-1990s before moving it to Virginia, made an offer in May 2023 through his F9 Brands Inc. to acquire all of LL’s outstanding shares for $5.76 per share. His plan was to merge the company with one of his other retail brands, Cabinets To Go.

Sullivan launched Cabinets To Go around 2008, while he was still chairman of Lumber Liquidators.

LL rejected Sullivan’s offer, saying in June it “significantly undervalued the worth of LL Flooring, its business and prospects.”

Sullivan then came back with a second offer, only to rescind it last summer “in light of LL’s deteriorating financial and operational performance and eroding value. “A report at the time said Sullivan’s F9 Brands owns 8.8 percent of LL stock.

Since then, Live Ventures and Sullivan’s camp have attempted to gain further leverage over LL. Both sides have each proposed embedding their own picks for seats on LL’s board. Those picks could potentially be up for election at the company’s annual shareholders meeting later this summer.

LL declined to comment this week beyond its formal announcements. It said in a release that it continues to consider Live Ventures’ offer, which remains subject to completion of certain financing.

“Consistent with its fiduciary duties and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, the LL Flooring Board remains in constructive discussions and is currently negotiating this latest proposal, which has not yet been accepted by the Board,” the company said.

Nancy Taylor, chair of LL’s board of directors, said in a prepared statement, “We continue to work diligently with our external advisors to identify the best path for the future of LL Flooring and all of our shareholders. We look forward to progressing in the strategic review process, and the Board remains open to having discussions with interested parties and considering a transaction that appropriately reflects the Company’s value and prospects.”

LL Flooring is headquartered in a 53,000-square-foot office at Libbie Mill Midtown in Henrico. It has approximately 435 stores nationwide.