SingPost buys US e-commerce player for $168M

Postal service operator purchases a 96.3 percent stake in TradeGlobal Holdings, as it looks to beef up its e-commerce logistics network globally.

Singapore Post (SingPost) says it has purchased a majority stake in US e-commerce player, TradeGlobal Holdings, forking out US$168.6 million (S$234.2 million) in the deal as it looks to beef up its online capabilities.

The postal service operator's wholly-owned subsidiary, TG Acquisition, had bought out 96.3 percent of TradeGlobal, which itself was owned by private equity firm, Breagal Sagemount, SingPost said in a statement Thursday. TradeGlobal provides a range of services that support online retail and e-commerce websites, including website development, content management, analytics, global fulfilment, and logistics.

The deal would enable SingPost's customers across Asia-Pacific to expand their business into the US, while TradeGlobal's own clientele would be able to tap the Asia-Pacific market, noted SingPost.

It added that both companies' platforms and warehouse networks were "complementary", allowing their respective customers to access "integrated technology and fulfilment capabilities".

The acquisition was in line with SingPost's aim to build up its global e-commerce network, as it further sought to grow a "larger and deeper footprint".

SingPost eCommerce CEO Marcelo Wesseler said: "Full service e-commerce solutions have traditionally been geographically confined. This acquisition will offer a one-stop solution for brands to grow their businesses globally.

"Using localised capabilities in the two largest e-commerce markets, Asia-Pacific and North America, brands will also be able to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience," Wesseler said, adding that the acquisition would further boost SingPost's ability to scale, for instance, to better manage surges in traffic and transactions during peak shopping seasons.

TradeGlobal's founders Dave Cook and Dave Eckley would remain shareholders and retain their current positions as executive chairman and CEO, respectively.

"Our acquisition of TradeGlobal will further accelerate SingPost's transformation, which began more than a decade ago to survive the steep decline of letter mail," said SingPost Chairman Lim Ho Kee, who noted that the postal service operator had been expanding its network into the region and Europe.

In July this year, China's Alibaba Group increased its stake in SingPost with another US$206.45 million investment to drive the development of e-commerce infrastructure and services. This had followed a previous investment announced in May 2014 totalling S$312.5 million (US$230.83 million).