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Wine Industry Insight
San Francisco, March 17, 2010 â€“ VF Wine, Inc., a subsidiary of the secured creditor of the former Vinfolio, Inc., announced today that it has acquired Vinfolioâ€™s assets and is joining with employees to re-launch a new Vinfolio built on its strength as a leading innovator in the sourcing, selling and storage of fine wine.
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In January of this year, Vinfolio, Inc. was unable to meet its liabilities and entered into an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors process. Since then, the secured creditor has funded the companyâ€™s operations to allow the assignee to evaluate the best outcome for all constituencies.
â€śDuring the course of the last two months, we have not only deepened our understanding of the critical role Vinfolio, Inc. played in transforming the way people buy and sell fine wine, but have become more aware of the enormous contribution the business can make going forward,â€ť said Jon Moramarco, a principal investor in the parent of VF Wine. â€śRather than take the path of liquidation, we are working with employees to form a new company to continue pursuing Vinfolioâ€™s mission of improving the way people buy, store and sell fine wine.â€ť
â€śWe are eager to combine the best of the former company with a newly-capitalized and stable financial foundation which allows us to return to the core principles of a fine wine businessâ€”serving the needs of wine enthusiasts and collectors by sourcing, selling, and storing fine wine,â€ť stated Ann Feely, Vice President of Wine Sourcing and Sales.
The new Vinfolio inherits an online wine store and Marketplace that have quickly become the worldâ€™s largest fine wine source, with thousands of wines available for bidding or instant purchase. Along with this, the new company will continue to provide the Bay Areaâ€™s only full-service storage and maintain the trademarked Vinfolio name in recognition of the brand equity that was built in large part by providing superior levels of service to a very loyal customer base.
“I believe that now more than ever, our customers will find Vinfolioâ€™s team of employees has the skills and expertise to provide them with exceptional wines and service,â€ť said Beth Thomas-Kim, Director of Customer Service. “We believe in the goals and focus of the new Vinfolio and are excited to have made a personal commitment to remain a key resource for wine enthusiasts and collectors.â€ť
In the coming days Vinfolio plans to announce the hiring of a new CEO who will head the day-to-day operations of the new organization. â€śVinfolio will staff this position with an individual who combines extensive wine industry knowledge with a commitment to customer service and a proven track record of financial discipline,â€ť stated Jon Moramarco.
â€śThe financial troubles of Vinfolio, Inc. have created a most difficult situation for its employees, as well as certain customers and suppliers,â€ť continued Moramarco. â€śWe look forward to a return to Vinfolioâ€™s mission in a stable and focused way. While the new company has not assumed, and is under no legal obligation to provide for, Vinfolio, Inc.â€™s historical liabilities, it is not our intention to profit from the misfortune of others. More specifically, VF Wine intends to operate the business prudently and is committed to attempting to resolve any legitimate claims of Vinfolioâ€™s community of wine suppliers and customers before VF Wineâ€™s investors take any profit distribution, fee, dividend or other return of capital on the investment we are making to rescue Vinfolio.â€ť
Attached to this release are some brief questions and answers. More information will be available on the Vinfolio Website.
About VF Wine
VF Wine, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the secured debt holder of Vinfolio, Inc.
About newly formed Vinfolio
In March 2010, VF Wine acquired the assets of Vinfolio, Inc. VF Wine is joining with former employees of Vinfolio, Inc. to operate the new company, which will do business under the trademarked Vinfolio brand name.
Vinfolio is the leading source for fine wine, serving the needs of wine enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Through its online wine store and Marketplace, the company offers access to thousands of unique wines. Vinfolioâ€™s mission is to bring simplicity and transparency to the fine wine market and provide exceptional service to its wine buying, selling and storage customers. Launched in 2010, the company is headquartered in San Francisco.
About the former Vinfolio, Inc.
Vinfolio, Inc. was positioned as the worldâ€™s foremost source for fine wine, serving wine lovers, enthusiasts and collectors globally. Vinfolio, Inc. strove to deliver on its mission of â€śfine wine, finer serviceâ€ť by offering a wide selection of fine wine through its online wine store and Marketplace and combined this with a full complement of services and resources to find, buy, sell, manage and enjoy fine wine. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company also maintained offices in Hong Kong.
Director of Marketing
NOTE: Nothing in this press release is intended to be or should be construed as an offer or binding legal obligation of, and nothing in this press release imposes a legal obligation or liability of any kind whatsoever on, Vinfolio, Inc., VF Wine, Inc., or its parent R.S.T, Inc., or any officers, directors, employees, lenders or shareholders thereof.
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For Customers and Suppliers
Will I still be able to buy wine through www.vinfolio.com?
Yes. While you may have noticed small changes to the look and feel of our site, the Vinfolio wine store, Marketplace and flash sales are all open for business at www.vinfolio.com
I bought wine on pre-arrival from the predecessor company. How will the new Vinfolio handle my order?
Though not legally obligated to do so, new Vinfolio is committed to a fair and timely fulfillment of all pre-arrival orders made with the predecessor company. If for any reason we are unable to complete your order(s), we will provide you with an online Vinfolio wine store coupon for the same dollar amount. All customers with pre-arrivals will be receiving an email specifically addressing their order(s). We appreciate your continued patience as we work through this process.
What will happen to store credits I had with the predecessor company?
If you had a store credit with the predecessor company, the new Vinfolio will issue you an online Vinfolio wine store coupon of the same dollar value which you can use to buy wine from Vinfolio through Dec 31, 2010.
Is my storage wine safe? Is the new Vinfolio still in the wine storage business?
Yes, your storage wine is safe and remains in our climate-controlled, secure warehouse. There are over 400,000 bottles currently in Vinfolio storage; this remains one of our core services.
How can I be confident in selling wine through the new Vinfolio in the future?
Since January 2010, all funds received for sales of Marketplace and Fixed-Price Auction sales have been held in segregated accounts through which suppliers are paid. The new Vinfolio will continue this practice.
Will wine suppliers to the predecessor company be paid? If so, how and when?
While the new Vinfolio has not assumed and is not responsible for the liabilities of the predecessor company, the new Vinfolio has indicated its intent to resolve any legitimate claims of Vinfolioâ€™s community of wine suppliers over time as prudent financial management and cash flow permits. More specifically, VF Wineâ€™s investors have committed not to take any profit distribution, fee, dividend or other return of capital until wine suppliersâ€™ legitimate claims are addressed. The timeframe for such resolutions cannot be determined but will likely extend through 2011 and 2012. The new Vinfolio will be contacting each supplier individually to explain next steps.
Who do I contact with any questions or requests regarding buying, selling or storing wine?
Â· Buying inquiries: email@example.com
Â· Selling inquires: firstname.lastname@example.org
Â· Storage and all other inquiries: email@example.com
About VF Wine, Inc.
Who is VF Wine, Inc.?
VF Wine, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of R.S.T., Inc.
Who is R.S.T.?
R.S.T., Inc. is a Delaware corporation which is the secured creditor of Vinfolio, Inc.
Why is VF Wine, Inc. acquiring the assets of the predecessor company?
VF Wine, Inc. believes that Vinfolio fills a unique and important role in the fine wine community and believes that continuing the business is preferable to a liquidation for all stakeholders.
What is VF Wine, Inc.â€™s role in the new Vinfolio?
VF Wine, Inc. is the owner of new Vinfolio. It does not have a day-to-day management role. That responsibility will be in the hands of a new CEO to be announced in the coming weeks.
How has the new Vinfolio been funded?
R.S.T. has provided the equity capital for the company. VF Wine Inc., the new Vinfolio, has no debt.
Who are the people involved in R.S.T.?
Jon Moramarco is a principal investor in R.S.T. Other funders include N. Colin Lind and Jean-Michel Valette.
About the Assignment Process
Why did the Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors take so long?
On January 15th, Vinfolio, Inc. assigned its assets and liabilities to Vinfolio (assignment for the benefit of creditors), LCC, (â€śthe Assigneeâ€ť) to sell the assets of the business for the benefit of creditors. These processes take time, as the Assignee needed to broadly market the assets, solicit expressions of interest from many parties and undertake negotiations to sell those assets. For further information on the Assignment process, please contact:
Vinfolio (Assignment for the Benefit of the Creditors), LLC
Mountain View, CA 94039-1600
Attn: Proof of Claims