Belgian Postal Service to Acquire Radial for $820 Million

In a surprising move, bpost, the Belgian postal service, announced plans to acquire U.S.-based third-party logistics and ecommerce software firm Radial for $820 million, as it looks to expand its client base here with Radial’s broad omnichannel, logistics and fulfillment capabilities.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

This is one of several M&A deals in ecommerce fulfillment just since August, including Walmart’s recent acquisition of New York same-day courier Parcel, Pitney Bowes planned purchase of major 3PL Newgistics and Target’s planned acquisition of transportation software firm Grand Junction.

“I’m very proud of this acquisition that represents a great leap forward for bpost, promoting us as a leading player in the ecommerce logistics business in the Benelux, Europe and throughout the world,” said Koen Van Gerven, CEO of bpost, in a release. “I’m convinced that offering integrated and seamless ecommerce logistic solutions to our U.S. and European customers will help them grow their businesses.”

“There has never been a more important time when it comes to helping brands grow their online business profitably, especially when reaching their customer base internationally,” said Matthew Espe, CEO of Radial in the release.

On the home front, bpost acquired Belgian-based delivery and software firm Bubble Post in August of this year. The company handles urban deliveries in 16 markets in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Radial fulfilled more than 306 million units for retail customers across 24 fulfillment centers in 2016, the companies said. In addition to logistics and software, Radial also offers integrated services including payment, tax and fraud protection services and customer care. It major clients include Ralph Lauren and GameStop.

Earlier this year Radial introduced Edge, an integrated suite that includes business intelligence tools, fraud protection, marketplace services, cross-border logistics, drop shipping, seller-fulfilled Prime orders, shipping notifications and inventory liquidation services, among others.

Owner Sterling Capital purchased predecessor companies Innotrac and eBay Enterprise in 2014 and 2015, respectively, rolling them up into Radial in 2016 at an estimated market valuation of about $1 billion.

MCM Musings: It’s interesting to see a European parcel company acquiring a U.S.-based ecommerce and logistics firm, and will be more interesting to see how bpost leverages and integrates Radial’s significant assets and capabilities to grow its business here and in overseas markets. Radial is believed to be behind only Amazon in terms of ecommerce fulfillment volume in the U.S., and handles an estimated 20% of ecommerce order flow between the U.S. and Europe.

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