Majority stake in bol.com aims to accelerate Cycloon’s growth
Today, Cycloon and bol.com announced a strategic alliance in which bol.com will become a shareholder of Cycloon. The parties intend to jointly accelerate the growth of Cyclone and share the ambition to make delivery more sustainable and social. The current management of Cycloon will be continued and the existing shareholders of Cycloon will remain involved as shareholders. The transaction, in which bol.com acquires a majority stake, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022 and is subject to advice from the relevant works council and customary approvals.
With the growth of the e-commerce and related logistics sector, challenges are increasing in terms of delivery capacity and impact on the environment and infrastructure. The partnership with bol.com allows Cycloon to substantially accelerate its mission of green and social delivery, creating a future-proof position with strong growth opportunities in a competitive market. For bol.com, the partnership ensures that a greater proportion of packages can be delivered by bicycle and that the online retail platform can offer customers the best service in delivery.
Green and social
Management and shareholders remain fully committed to Cycloon’s social culture and sustainable mission to grow the organization and create new jobs. With its national network of bicycle couriers and postal delivery staff, Cycloon sends mail and packages for thousands of customers throughout the Netherlands. Cycloon does this as smartly as possible, driven by manpower and brown sandwiches. The company already saves 1600 tons of CO2 annually and employs 600 people with a (former) distance to the labor market. After the transaction, Cyclone looks forward to continuing the delivery of mail and packages for current and new customers, as well as delivering packages for bol.com. This will include both packages from bol.com itself as well as packages from sales partners who store their items in the distribution centers of bol.com.
Strong basis for cooperation
What both companies have in common is the courage to do things differently. The mentality to work as a team and the no-nonsense culture. That is a very good basis for a successful cooperation. Marieke Snoek, Managing Director Cyclone: “The partnership with bol.com gives us the opportunity to make an impact on a much larger scale. We will continue to invest in our people, network and partners and this will enable us to improve and further expand the services we provide to our current and new customers. In doing so, we discussed at length the principles we stand for and continue to stand for as organizations.”
Accelerate sustainable and flexible delivery
Bol.com has ambitious sustainability goals and the collaboration with Cycloon contributes substantially to this. Vincent Weijers, Director of Logistics & Operations (COO) at bol.com, said, “We believe enormously in Cycloon’s sustainable and social mission. At the same time, it is a unique opportunity for bol.com and its sales partners to accelerate the sustainability of our growing parcel delivery business and expand our delivery capacity. We can also further improve the convenience and service for our customers with flexible and smart delivery. Moving towards a sustainable and socially responsible last mile is crucial for the future of e-commerce and we will continue to work with all our delivery partners to make this happen. With the majority stake in Cyclone, we are taking another step towards our stated ambition of reducing our direct footprint to 0 grams of CO2 emissions per package by 2025.”
Terms and process
The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including approval from the competition authority, coordination with trade unions and advice from the relevant works council. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, provided all conditions are met. Four years after the transaction, bol.com will also acquire the remaining shares. Cyclone will then continue to exist as an independent brand.
Cyclone is the green and social delivery expert in the Netherlands. It is Cycloon’s mission to move the delivery market to become greener and more social. From that mission, Cycloon initiated a national bicycle courier platform in 2016 and now delivers in over 60 cities. Thus, a nationwide parcel service with around 800 bicycle couriers became a reality. In addition, Cycloon employs 600 postal workers with a (former) distance to the labor market.
In 1999, bol.com was founded in the Netherlands from a construction site in Vianen. We were the first online bookstore in Europe. More than 20 years later, we are the largest online retail platform in the Benelux and have expanded our range of books into millions of items in dozens of product categories, with a focus on non-food. We have had the ambition to improve retail every day from the beginning. We do this together with 47,000 local entrepreneurs who sell via bol.com to our customers, 12 million Dutch and Belgians. We believe in the power of collaboration, because only together with our partners can we offer our customers the best shopping (experience). As a ‘store for all of us’, we want to be accessible to everyone. We understand our customers and are there for them, whenever and wherever they need us. We always offer convenience, reliability and choice. Together we are changing retail to make everyday life easier.
Bol.com has over 2,500 employees, working at the headquarters in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Since 2012 bol.com is part of Ahold Delhaize.