Reproduced from WWD:
Asendia Takes Full Ownership of ESW: While completely owned by Asendia, ESW will remain a stand-alone entity, with current management remaining.
By David Moin on March 31, 2021
Asendia, the majority shareholder of ESW since 2017, has become the sole owner of the business.
Asendia bought the remaining 49.9 per cent stake from ESW’s founder and chief executive officer Thomas Kelly, who continues as ESW CEO.
“This is a significant endorsement of ESW growth, sustainability and success in embracing the structural shift in favor of online shopping,” said Kelly. “The recently concluded transaction marks a deepening commitment by Asendia, which has been a highly supportive partner and provider of complementary ecommerce services.”
The Dublin-based ESW sets up brands and retailers with an “end-to-end” solution for conducting cross-border ecommerce. It’s worked in 200 markets and with companies such as PVH Corp., Movado, Tarte, Nike Inc. and the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Asendia is the venture between La Poste Group and Swiss Post, two companies with extensive logistics capabilities. ESW, while completely owned by Asendia, will remain a stand-alone entity, with the current management remaining.
“ESW are experts in making it easy for global brands to have a local presence,” said Marc Pontet, CEO of Asendia. “Additionally, its focus on making ecommerce frictionless, regardless of location, made it a coherent, strategic choice to make ESW part of the Asendia family. The move dovetails with our overarching aim to make worldwide ecommerce simple and reliable, and is a significant step in making this vision a reality.”
According to executives at Asendia and ESW, the investment helps accelerate the expansion of ESW and efforts to build on its technology and logistics capabilities for global brands.
ESW expects to double its turnover over the coming years. In October, the company reported annualized revenues of about one billion euros. The company also made 160 new hires, taking the headcount to over 480 at the end of 2020. It exceeds 500.
In March, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, an executive with decades of international experience working at Emaar Malls, Marks & Spencer and the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., joined ESW as president and CEO, Americas. It’s a new position, underscoring how ecommerce continues to rapidly grow and present opportunities for brands and retailers to extend their reach to markets around the world.
“In the complex world of international retail, if you think about taxes, tariffs, VAT, pricing, translations, logistics, returns, data security, fraud protection, customer service — all those complexities — ESW takes that away from their clients so they can focus on what they do best — merchandising and developing product,” Bousquet-Chavanne said at the time of his appointment.
“This is a young company. It’s been amazingly successful,” Bousquet-Chavanne told WWD. “Their technology has been integrated into many of the leading global brands in the world. The company provides very fast and efficient access to international arenas with minimal capital. In six to eight weeks, we can onboard a brand in a new market.”
On Wednesday, he characterized Asendia’s taking full ownership of ESW as “a third chapter” in the evolution of ESW, the first being its founding by Kelly in 2010 and the second being Asendia’s acquiring a majority stake in 2017.
He said the two main pillars of ESW are its ecommerce technology and logistics abilities. ESW competes with other cross-border ecommerce facilitators such as Flow and Borderfree.