For several years, bpost has pursued a growth strategy based on diversification into new activities. With this in mind, bpost has identified convenience and proximity retail as a sector with attractive growth potential and the Belgian activities of Lagardère Travel Retail are ideally positioned in this regard.
In Belgium, Lagardère Travel Retail is active in proximity retail, among others at train stations and airports, directly operating a network of 220 points of sale, with strong, familiar brands like Press Shop and Relay, selling a wide variety of products and services. Lagardère Travel Retail also distributes newspapers and magazines to some 5 345 points of sale. It has also recently built up a network of some 735 parcel pick-up and delivery points in Belgium under the Kariboo! brand, as well as other value-added e-commerce solutions.
The acquisition of this integrated retail and delivery network is expected to enable bpost to drive up the profitability of its activities by offering its customers greater proximity and convenience. bpost’s ambition is to invest in this growing business, open more points of sale, diversify its service offering to customers (commuters, passengers, online shoppers, readers) and continue to enlarge its pick-up point network to offer its customers a wider range of services and parcel delivery options. The development potential this acquisition entails will enable bpost to continue to achieve its strategic goals.
The current bpost retail network of post offices and PostPoints and the Lagardère Travel Retail network, which includes Press Shop and Relay, will both retain their specific characteristics and product ranges. After agreement by the competition authorities, the parties will sign a franchise agreement for the distribution and operation of Lagardère Group brands (including Relay, Hubiz & Hello!) in Belgium.
This acquisition project applies to 100% of the capital of LS Distribution Benelux and AMP, which posted consolidated turnover of €440m in 2014. bpost and the acquired entities will remain separate with the aim of developing the business, although synergies may be realized where that adds value for the group. The deal is subject to the agreement of the competition authorities.
Koen Van Gerven, CEO of bpost, says: “This acquisition will enable bpost to truly diversify its activities in a profitable growth business responding to the new customer needs to have always more proximity and convenience. It also enables us to face up to the intense competition on the Belgian parcels market.”
Koen Van Gerven hosts a press conference organise at Centre Monnaie at 11:00 am on Friday 5 February to set out this acquisition project in greater detail.
For more information:
Baudouin de Hepcée T. +32 2 276 22 28 (Press and Investors)
Barbara Van Speybroeck T. +32 476 51 79 29 (Press only)
Saskia Dheedene T. +32 2 276 76 43 (Investors only)
This announcement is being made on the basis of Article 10 of the Law of 2 August 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and on financial services (Wet van 2 augustus 2002 betreffende het toezicht op de financiële sector en de financiële diensten) and the Royal Decree of 14 November 2007 regarding the duties of issuers of financial instruments which have been admitted for trading on a regulated market (Koninklijk Besluit van 14 november 2007 betreffende de verplichtingen van emittenten van financiële instrumenten die zijn toegelaten tot de verhandeling op een gereglementeerde markt)