Amid what TechCrunch is calling a “heated” global race in ecommerce, King of Prussia, Pa.-based Radial – a provider of ecommerce logistic services like fulfillment and omni-channel processing — has agreed to be acquired by the Belgian Post Group (aka bpost) in a $820 million deal expected to close in the last quarter of 2017.
Radial operates 24 fulfillment centers in Europe and the U.S., with 400 staffers perched at its suburban headquarters. In 2016, it fulfilled some 306 million units for ecommerce clients, a group that includes brands like Levi’s, Sony and PetSmart. The deal will help bpost beef up the offerings of its U.S.-based Landmark Global business and create some formidable competition for Amazon in the fulfillment space.
Radial has some ties to the OG Philly tech scene. The story is complex, so let’s break it down:
- It all starts with Michael Rubin’s GSI Commerce, also a King of Prussia-based ecommerce company, that sold to eBay in 2011. The $2.4 billion deal remains among Philly tech’s top exits.
- Prior to the deal, Chris Saridakis tipped off four family members and friends to the sale of his company, setting off an insider trading scandal that ended with Saridakis being sentenced to 15 months in jail.
- Two years later, GSI Commerce formally took on the name eBay Enterprise. In 2014, the company was depicted by the New York Times as eBay’s secret weapon against Amazon’s growing foothold over the ecommerce space.
- In 2016, Radial was born out of a “combination of eBay’s former B2B operations that were spun out around the time of the PayPal split, with Innotrac,” per TechCrunch reporter Ingrid Lunden.
- But no, this deal has nothing to do with Magento, which itself spun out of eBay Enterprise in November 2015 and is a standalone company. Last year, Magento scooped up Philly firm RJMetrics.
“There has never been a more important time when it comes to helping brands grow their online business profitably, especially when reaching their customer base internationally,” said Radial CEO Matthew Espe in a statement. “Joining the bpost family is a critical next step for both companies.”
A Radial spokesperson said the company has 400 staffers perched at its suburban headquarters.