Technology 3 min read

Bpost Acquires Radial, the Second Largest e-Commerce Platform to Amazon

Jan Krahulec |

Jan Krahulec |

The Belgian Bpost is betting on e-commerce by acquiring U.S. Radial for $820 million USD. The transaction should be finalized during the last quarter of 2017.

The Belgian Post, La Régie des Postes, was created all the way back in 1830 and has since been renamed twice. In 1992, it became La Poste, a name change that marked the end of state intervention.

From the late 1990’s to 2010’s, the European postal market was progressively getting liberalized amidst the challenges posed by the development of new disrupting IT technologies such as mobile phones (SMS) and e-mailing.

In this context, “La Poste” changed its name to “Bpost” in 2010. This second renaming symbolized a significant change of status: the autonomous public company’s willingness to embrace the future.

Belgian postal company #bpost acquires #Radial , Amazon's big competitor.Click To Tweet

Bpost, of which the Belgian State is the major shareholder, launched its first IPO and entered the stock exchange in June 2013 on the Euronext Brussels market.

Bpost also launched other initiatives aimed at modernizing the company, taking from the private sector to rethink its management culture and practices: diversification and internationalization of its activities, striking new partnerships, restructuring its business offers, reorganizing and automating its sorting centers.

Bpost Acquires “Radial”, Amazon’s Biggest Competitor

With over 25,000 employees and a €2.43 billion turnover in 2015, Bpost is one of the largest employers in Belgium, and a big contributor to the nation’s economy.

Right now, Bpost is the leading Belgian postal operator and an integral part of social life in Belgium, but the company doesn’t want to stop here.

The day before yesterday, October 9th, the company announced in a press release the acquisition of the U.S. company Radial.

The transaction, which will be finalized during the last quarter of 2017, gives Bpost all of the shares of Radial, totaling $820 million USD net worth including debt.

Radial has recruited J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. as a financial advisor for this transaction.

“I’m very proud of this acquisition that represents a great leap forward for Bpost,” said Koen Van Gerven, Bpost CEO, “promoting us as a leading player in the e-commerce logistics business in the Benelux, Europe and throughout the world.”

Bpost Gains a Strong Foothold in the U.S. e-Commerce Market

The Radial acquisition isn’t Bpost’s first foray into the U.S. market.

The Belgian national postal deliverer already has an international division, Landmark Global, a company that caters to online sellers, helping them achieve a global reach.

But, via Radial, Bpost has just made a big step to branch out across the Atlantic by getting an access to the $300 billion USD U.S. e-commerce market, which is projected to surpass $485 billion USD by 2021.

Based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Radial Inc. was known as eBay Enterprise from 2011 until 2015.

Accounting for 20% of all eCommerce orders flowing between Europe and the U.S., Radial is Amazon’s biggest competitor in terms of logistics.

Last year, according to Bpost, Radial provided logistics (fulfillment) of more than 300 million parts for its retail customers, through its 24 fulfillment centers, and, for 2017, Radial’s annual revenue is expected to be in the range of $970 million to $1.02 billion USD.

What do you think about this new acquisition? Will they seek to compete with Amazon?

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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