GeoPost gains majority stake in wnDirect as MetaPack pulls out
GeoPost, La Poste’s international parcel business, has stepped up its investment in the UK cross-border e-commerce shipping specialist wnDirect. The company, parent of DPD and Interlink Express, has turned its previous 20% stake into a 57% equity holding in the company providing international logistics services for retailers.
The deal involved GeoPost UK buying part of the company founders’ existing shareholding and all of the 20% shareholding previously owned by delivery management firm MetaPack.
More than just MetaPack pulling out, the firms said the deal would inject “significant” investment to bring working capital into the business.
wnDirect said the investment would allow it to expand the scale of its e-commerce offering.
The company is planning to open a series of processing centres throughout the world, it said, bringing its services to more retailers. The firm said it also has a number of new services in the pipeline, and the investment should allow it to innovate at a faster pace.
GeoPost has worked with wnDirect for three years, last year pairing up to provide a dedicated international business-to-consumer delivery service for UK retailers in partnership with parcel carrier DPD, called DPD Direct.
Dwain McDonald, the chief executive at GeoPost UK, said increasing his company’s investment in wnDirect was a “good deal all round”, adding that the business had “huge potential”.
“We’ve chosen to strengthen our relationship with a significant investment because we fully believe in the company, the people and their solution,” sid They have products that UK retailers really want – e-commerce solutions that tap into local country networks, with tracking and smart customs clearance – in markets that UK retailers are looking to expand into such as Australia, USA and Russia.”
Berkshire-based wnDirect operates in the UK and US outbound markets, handling more than 8m packages a year. The company has been expanding its services, recently launching services to Russia, China, Brazil and the Middle East.
Stuart Hill, the former ASOS head of international operations and co-founding wnDirect chief executive, said it was “business as usual” for the company after the management team reduced its collective stake in the business from 60% to 43% of the equity.
He said the GeoPost investment represented a “huge milestone” for the firm, but said the deal allowed the present team to maintain control of the business strategy.
Hill said: “We can now expand, improve and innovate even faster both in the UK market and also expand our operations globally in key markets for UK retailers such as the US, China and Germany. We are very excited about the next stage of wnDirect’s growth.”