Sweden’s Axfood has entered into a strategic partnership with online grocery retailer Mathem and has agreed to divest the operations of Mat.se to Mathem i Sverige AB (Mathem) in exchange for newly issued shares in Mathem.
The merger of Mat.se and Mathem will create synergies and economies of scale, provide better opportunities to develop a strong offering in pure-play online retail with home delivery, Axfood added.
Besides, Axfood subsidiary Dagab Inköp och Logistik AB (Dagab) has signed a seven-year delivery partnership with Mathem, that includes collaboration on purchases, assortment and logistics.
The e-commerce logistics that Mat.se currently uses, including warehouses and transports, are part of Dagab and are not included in the deal.
Klas Balkow, president and CEO of Axfood, said, “Together with Mathem, we are now creating a stronger and improved pure-play online retail offering for Mathem’s and Mat.se’s customers.
“The long-term delivery partnership between Dagab and Mathem will further strengthen the offering to consumers.”
The deal is valued at approximately SEK 688 million on a cash and debt-free basis and the valuation of Mat.se is in line with the valuation of Mathem, and is based on a multiple of 1.5 times the company’s net sales in the last 12 months as of 30 September 2021.
Axfood’s shareholding in Mathem will amount to 16.5% following the transaction.
Upon the closing of the transaction, Axfood will become the second-largest shareholder in Mathem with a 16.5% stake and will be represented on Mathem’s board of directors by one director.
'A Heavyweight In The Online Market'
Johan Lagercrantz, CEO of Mathem, stated, “The joint forces of Mat.se and Mathem will create a heavyweight in the online market for grocery deliveries. The merger with Mat.se, which has a well-established service and exciting products, will result in a number of powerful synergies, leading to an exciting and strong joint customer offering that benefits everyone involved.
“The customer offering is also being further enhanced through our purchasing and logistics partnership with Dagab. I look forward to a close and fruitful partnership with Axfood moving forward.”
The retailer has pledged to participate with up to approximately SEK 80 million in the event of a financing round in 2022.
The deal, subject to approval by the Swedish Competition Authority, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
The transaction will be presented in more detail at Axfood’s digital Capital Markets Day on 16 December.