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Mergers & Acquisitions

It’s not easy to stay on top of the latest company realignments in the retail industry. It’s a volatile environment — across retailer segments as well as solution provider organizations. As soon as the announcements are made, Retail TouchPoints publishes an article covering the news, in this Mergers & Acquisitions section. Learn about the latest developments here.

Bpost Acquires Radial For $820 Million To Bolster Cross-Border Commerce

As the battle among major logistics players continues to rage on, with even Amazon reportedly set to join the mix, one more logistics company is seeking to expand its global fulfillment operations through acquisition. Bpost, a Belgium-based postal operator, has purchased Radial for $820 million from previous owner Sterling Partners. Radial will be a huge asset for bpost as it aims to spread its influence into the U.S. and Europe and improve its cross-border package delivery speed.Radial already accounts for approximately 20% of all e-Commerce orders that flow between the U.S. and the European Union, giving bpost the chance to work with a much larger client base of large retailers and SMBs. And Radial’s operations extend across 24 fulfillment centers, with more than 306 million units fulfilled.

Office Depot Adds Business Services With $1B CompuCom Purchase

In its first significant move away from traditional retail, Office Depot has purchased CompuCom, an IT services provider owned by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, for approximately $1 billion. The acquisition marks Office Depot’s pivot to becoming a broader business services and technology products platform, and the announcement came with a lowered outlook for Office Depot’s business for 2017. “Technology is the office supply of the future,” said Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot in a statement. “The combination of CompuCom’s enterprise IT services with our millions of customers and approximately 1,400 distribution points gives us the credibility and scale to build a sustainable platform and stand apart from the competition.”

Ace Hardware Acquires The Grommet

Ace Hardware has acquired a majority stake in the e-Commerce startup The Grommet, which markets and sells new and innovative products created by independent entrepreneurs. Among the “Makers” discovered by The Grommet are the people behind FitBit, IdeaPaint, OtterBox, SimpliSafe and SodaStream. The Grommet has launched more than 2,500 innovative consumer products, and created a community of 3 million+ early adopters and supporters. Analytics conducted by Ace indicate that current Grommet customers visit its stores over 50% more times than the average Ace Rewards customer and spend 2.8X as much. The two companies began working together in 2016 as part of a collaboration to bring new, unique products from independent Makers into select Ace stores.

Walmart Acquires Parcel To Test Same-Day Delivery In NYC

In another effort to improve its logistics operations and further establish itself as an e-Commerce powerhouse, Walmart has acquired last-mile delivery service Parcel for an undisclosed sum. Parcel will serve as another outlet for both Walmart and Jet.com to deliver general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries. Parcel operates in New York City, handling scheduled and same-day delivery services for online retailers such as Walmart subsidiary Bonobos and meal kit companies including Chef’d and Martha Stewart’s Martha & Marley Spoon.

Mojix And CXignited Merge To Expand Global Solution

Mojix, an RFID and IOT platform solutions provider, has merged with CXignited, a product digitalization application provider. The combined entity will operate under the Mojix name, with Dan Doles remaining as President and CEO. CXignited CEO Alain Fanet will become Chief Strategy Officer of Mojix and will lead the company’s global growth strategy.

Albertsons-Plated Acquisition: Will It Create A Domino Effect For The Meal Kit Segment?

Albertsons Co., the second largest supermarket chain in the U.S. by store count, is jumping into the $5 billion meal kit delivery market, acquiring Plated for an undisclosed sum. Plated will continue to sell its meals directly to consumers through its online subscription service, but in the coming months the company also will sell the kits in Albertsons stores. In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Michael McDevitt, CEO of healthy meal kit delivery service Terra's Kitchen, noted that he sees the Albertsons-Plated acquisition as one of the “lead dominoes” that will fall, enabling the entire meal kit segment to thrive and expand going forward.

Walgreens To Buy 1900+ Rite Aid Stores For $4.4 Billion

Nearly two years after initially announcing a merger with Rite Aid, Walgreens has finally received regulatory approval to acquire a significant chunk of its rival’s real estate. While a true pharmacy mega-merger will not occur, Walgreens will purchase 1,932 Rite Aid stores, three distribution centers and related inventory for $4.375 billion in cash. The store purchases are expected to begin in October, with completion anticipated in Spring 2018; the distribution centers’ transition to new ownership won’t begin for at least one year. The stores are located primarily in the Northeastern and Southern U.S., and will be converted to the Walgreens brand in phases.

Signet Jewelers Acquires James Allen Parent For $328 Million

Signet Jewelers, the parent company of Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, has officially acquired R2Net, the parent company of e-Commerce jewelry retailer James Allen, for $328 million. The acquisition brings a tech-savvy online brand with a heavy Millennial following under the Signet umbrella. The deal brings together the fourth- and fifth-largest online jewelers in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, which generated a combined total of $651.1 million in e-Commerce sales in 2016. James Allen saw 50% web sales growth in 2016, well above other major industry players such as jewelry distributor Richline Digital (6.4% growth) and Tiffany & Co. (5% growth), according to the report.

Collinson Group Acquires Rewards Platform From Linkable Networks

Collinson Group, a UK-based customer loyalty service provider, has acquired the card-linked-offer (CLO) platform from Linkable Networks. The deal enables Collinson Group to immediately offer CLOs in the U.S. Financial terms of the purchase have not been disclosed. The CLO platform is designed to enable businesses to link loyalty and rewards offers to their payment cards, incentivizing consumers across multiple channels, including online, mobile and in-store.

Amazon-Owned Souq Takes Wing To Expand Delivery In Middle East

Amazon’s desire to expand its Prime service is rubbing off on its subsidiaries. Middle Eastern e-Commerce powerhouse Souq has acquired Wing, a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based startup that is building out a courier network for same-day and next-day deliveries for various e-Commerce marketplaces (including Souq.com). Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The two companies have partnered in the past, with Souq previously making an undisclosed investment in Wing.

Pitney Bowes Acquires Newgistics For $475 Million

As part of its bid to expand further into the U.S. domestic parcels market at scale, Pitney Bowes has agreed to acquire Newgistics for $475 million. The purchase is projected to be finalized in late Q3 or early Q4. To avoid disruptions during the holiday season, Pitney Bowes plans to operate the businesses as independent units into Q1 2018. Known for its returns processing capabilities, Newgistics provides a range of e-Commerce capabilities for nearly 500 retail clients. The privately held company is a workshare partner of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and processes nearly 100 million parcels annually.

Blackhawk Network Acquires CashStar For $175M

Blackhawk Network, Inc., a global financial tech company, has acquired gift card commerce solutions provider CashStar, Inc. for $175 million in cash. The company said the acquisition will strengthen its position in the digital gift card market.

Narvar Acquires GoPigeon For APAC Expansion

Narvar has acquired India-based logistics platform provider GoPigeon for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is designed to scale Narvar’s global growth, provide the company with an anchor in the Asia-Pacific e-Commerce market and enable worldwide operations support. With the acquisition, Narvar seeks to advance its global platform development with additional engineering talent. Narvar will leverage the GoPigeon engineering team as part of its goal to scale more quickly and accelerate its machine learning capabilities. GoPigeon recently launched Intelligent Courier Allocation (ICA), an artificial intelligence system designed to help retailers optimize how they use their carrier networks based on customer needs in a given scenario.

Private Equity Firm Acquires Digital Experience Testing Provider Applause

Investment firm Vista Equity Partners has acquired Applause, a technology provider and crowdsourced software testing community designed to optimize digital experiences for retailers and brands. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With Vista’s financial backing, Applause seeks to bolster its digital testing, user feedback and marketing insights offerings. Through its community of 300,000+ professional, on-demand digital experience testers, Applause delivers human input at every phase of software development.

Lifestyle Sneaker Brands DTLR, VILLA Merge

Urban lifestyle footwear retailers DTLR and VILLA are merging in an effort to give both brands “the strength of a national retailer,” according to a joint statement. Financial details of the merger have not been disclosed; private equity firms own both brands. The merged retailer will comprise nearly 240 stores — 110 pre-existing DTLR outposts and 120 Villa doors — in 19 states and Washington, D.C.
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