Ardian sells Staci to bpost

Belgian postal service provider bpostgroup has acquired Staci (100%), a fulfilment and logistics services specialist registered in the Parisian suburb, Pontoise. Seller is French private investment house Ardian that purchased Staci in 2019, together with some other minor stakeholders. The deal, valued 1.3 billion euros, will enable state-owned Belgian Post to strengthen its position in Europe and secure market shares in the APAC region as well as in North America.

Different names, common goal: business success – picture: courtesy Belga / Staci

The days when state postal services defined themselves primarily as deliverers of letters and small items, are largely over. Today, they are increasingly moving into the business of multichannel logistics and distribution solutions, including B2B, B2C, D2C and e-commerce. Hardly any other company embodies this transformation from letter carrier to full service provider more vividly than Deutsche Post. It bought the U.S. express service DHL in 2000, and now operates internationally under its name.

The Dutch postal service (Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie) pursued a similar strategy when it took over the Australian express service provider TNT in 1998. However, the plan did not materialize. Today, TNT is part of FedEx and the logistics division, TNT Logistics, has been renamed Ceva Logistics, which belongs to the French multinational shipping company CMA CGM.

“The Staci acquisition catapults bpost to the next level” – Chris Peeters
Next postal candidate to strive for higher goals is the Belgian bpostgroup. By acquiring Staci, it embarks on an expansion spree with the ambition of opening up new markets and further strengthening existing business areas. Chris Peeters, CEO of bpostgroup, explains the logic behind the Staci purchase: “The contemplated acquisition […] is fully in line with the strategic choices bpostgroup had already made and presents the potential for a robust B2B-service offering. Also, bpost in Belgium can expect extra volumes in its last-mile-delivery network. Moreover, this transaction promises growth, sustainable employment, and enduring value creation.”

bpost emphasizes that Staci’s service portfolio complements that of its own subsidiaries, Active Ants and Radial, and amplifies its existing activities. It will gain immediate access to special know-how and technology of B2B, e-commerce and benefit from successful initiatives lifting the traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to the next level. As a welcome addition to the deal, bpost gets access to Staci’s portfolio of clients in many sectors, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), retail, pharmaceutical, health, cosmetics, industrial, energy, financial services, catering, and public services. Above all, bpost expects that the acquisition accelerates the ongoing transformation of its business model in its traditional Belgian home market, by accelerating processes.

Strategic change
Chris Peeters comments: “I am convinced that with the contemplated acquisition of Staci, we will be ready for robust growth. The B2B logistics sector, including in Belgium, holds immense potential. Our collaboration with Staci will bring us expertise, innovation power, and customer insights, enabling us to craft a complete customer-centric offering tailored to their needs. With this strategic change, we aim at possessing the assets, potential, and ambition to excel as an international logistics player, securing a sustainable future for our company and employees.”

No job-axing, promises bpost
bpost emphasizes that the management team and all employees of Staci will remain on board, so that the group can continue to rely on their expertise and experience. After the transaction closing, Staci CEO Thomas Mortier will become member of the executive committee of bpostgroup and will lead the new business unit 3PL.

The Belgian Post Group plans to pay the transaction by using bridge financing upon closing combined with a portion of its own cash. The transaction is subject to prior communication and consultation with the relevant employee representatives, and is expected to close in fall 2024, depending on green light from the relevant competition authorities.

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