Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has acquired a 41.36% stake in Smartmat NV, a company specialising in meal boxes under the brands Foodbag and 15gram.
The move makes Colruyt a shareholder in the food e-commerce company, together with the founders and Korys – the investment company of the Colruyt family, which already holds a stake in Smartmat NV.
Colruyt Group aims to expand its offering on the Belgian online food market with this investment in meal boxes and the development of the new online grocery supermarket, Rayon, launched earlier this year.
Smartmat NV gained market share in the Belgian food e-commerce space by preparing and delivering meal boxes under the brand names Foodbag and 15gram.
Colruyt Group and Smartmat NV have already been working together since 2019.
Foodbag's 'One Meal Box' is sold at OKay stores and is also available for collection at a number of 'Collect&Go' pick-up points.
Stéphane Ronse, Smartmat's general manager, commented, "To us, Colruyt Group acquiring a stake in our company is a logical step: the anchoring of our partnership will enable us to extend and strengthen our existing relationship.
"Our next step now is to further explore and deepen the complementarity with existing products and services. For us, this opens up a host of interesting and valuable opportunities."
Acquisition Of Smartmat NV
Smartmat's activities are a strategic fit with Colruyt Group, as they blend well with the existing services and will look to enhance the positioning of the various brands of the retail group, the retailer noted.
Tom De Prater, responsible for e-commerce food at Colruyt Group, said, "Joining forces with a dynamic high-growth company like Smartmat marks a new, significant step for Colruyt Group in driving further growth by offering convenience solutions to our customers.
"It allows us to complete our product range and to grow in home deliveries. With this new partnership, we will continue to expand our online market leadership via the meal box market and take further steps towards the development of sustainable grocery home delivery services."
Colruyt Group and Smartmat will also exchange previous knowledge gained in various areas, including logistics and distribution, to enhance the cost efficiency of the online services.
In addition, the Belgian retailer will continue to invest in its existing online concepts in food (Collect&Go) and non-food (Dreamland, Dreambaby, The Fashion Society, Newpharma, MyComfort24, and Collishop collection points in its stores).
The acquisition involves Colruyt Group taking over shares from the founders and from Korys.
Colruyt and Korys each hold 41.36% of the shares, while the founders retain the remaining shares.