Press release

Regulated information - Inside information

Unifiedpost Group announces acquisitions supporting the Pan-European growth strategy

La Hulpe (Belgium), 23 December 2020 – Unifiedpost Group (Euronext: UPG), a leading European fintech company, delivers on its acquisition strategy. The company announces the acquisition of 21 Grams, AKTI and BanqUP. By these transactions Unifiedpost Group further develops its one-stop-shop platform and expands its activities from fifteen to twenty European countries.

Alongside its clear ambitions for organic growth, Unifiedpost Group is pursuing a focused buy-and-build strategy. Following the recent funding that the company has obtained, it is now announcing its first wave of acquisitions.

Hans Leybaert, CEO and founder of Unifiedpost Group:

 

“Fully aligned with the thoughtful M&A-approach of Unifiedpost Group, I am convinced that with these acquisitions we set the right steps to further create a pan-European platform for documents, identity and payment services. Unifiedpost Group is looking forward to welcoming 21 Grams, AKTI and BanqUP to become part of the Unifiedpost team and to work together to pursue a unified strategy to deliver incremental growth and value for our customers.”

Expansion to the Nordic region

The acquisition of 21 Grams (21grams Holding AB), with its headquarters in Stockholm and business in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, offers Unifiedpost Group the opportunity to expand its activities in 4 countries. Since 2004, 21 Grams has been a leading provider in the Nordic countries of mission-critical outbound mailing solutions and also provides optimized post(age) and parcel services (in the wake of the postal market deregulation in the Nordic region). The company has extensive multi-channel digital and paper invoice delivery capabilities and provides tight integration with a wide variety of ERP solutions to the whole Nordic region. Over 80 million documents are processed over the 21 Grams platform on an annual basis. 

Acquisition synergies can be created by bringing Unifiedpost’s one-stop-shop model together with the solutions provided by 21 Grams. By joining forces, platform services integrated with e-commerce solutions, automated payments solutions and delivering parcel optimization can be brought to the local market. Today, 21 Grams has over 800, mainly large, clients. With this acquisition, Unifiedpost now has full access to the Nordic SME-market, which comprises about 1.25 million SME’s.

Approximately 70 staff are employed at 21 Grams, which will result in an FTE-growth of approx.10% for Unifiedpost Group. 21 Grams reported a proforma revenue of €77.6m in 2019, of which €21.6m was generated from their multi-channel delivery platform (gross margin 27%), which is identical to the core documents revenue of Unifiedpost Group. A further €56.0m in revenue was generated from document and parcel logistics (gross margin 11%). The planned EBITDA of 21 Grams for 2020 is stated at €4.6m.

On December 23rd 2020, Unifiedpost Group signed a mutually binding offer to acquire 100% of the share capital of 21 Grams. Valuation was based on a multiple of 7.5 x EBITDA of 2020. Unifiedpost Group will finance the acquisition 7% by shares and 93% by cash. 

The parties have expressed their intention to complete the transaction during January 2021.

 

Adding neo-bank capabilities and expansion into Poland

The acquisition of BanqUP, based in Belgium with activities in Poland, will enable Unifiedpost Group to bring more open banking and data analytics capabilities to its +440.000 SME customer base. With the integration of BanqUP’s capabilities, the Unifiedpost platform will have quick access to open banking ecosystems enabling analysis of combined banking and document data which can be used for cashflow forecasting and other purposes. This will enable the group to cross-sell and up-sell payment and financing solutions. BanqUP reported revenue of €0.8m in 2019. It has a European focus with its solutions, which are centered on the Polish market. Unifiedpost Group will merge its services with those of BanqUP to bring combined solutions to the important SME and e-invoice/payments markets in Poland, which comprise more than 1.7 million SME’s.

Unifiedpost Group will finance the acquisition 50% through shares and 50% through cash. Valuation was based on a multiple of 7.5 x revenue of 2020.
The parties have expressed their intention to complete the transaction during January 2021.
 

Embracing e-commerce solutions

Unifiedpost Group has agreed to acquire AKTI (AKTI NV). AKTI, a Belgian firm with annual revenue of €0.5m, is a cloud company which provides SME’s with commerce and e-commerce solutions, including order management and invoice processing. Unifiedpost Group is excited to be able to bring these services to its large customer base to fulfill the demand from its customers to integrate e-commerce solutions with its one-stop-shop platform for SME’s. 

Unifiedpost Group will finance the acquisition 85% by shares and 15% by cash. Valuation was based on a multiple of 3.9 x revenue of 2020.
The parties have expressed their intention to complete the transaction during January 2021.

 

<End of press release>

 

Press contact

Sarah Heuninck 
+32 (0)491 15 05 09
sarah.heuninck@unifiedpost.com

 

About Unifiedpost Group 

Unifiedpost Group wants to become the leading cloud-based platform for SME business services built on “Documents”, “Identity” and “Payments”. Unifiedpost operates and develops a 100% cloud-based platform for administrative and financial services that allows real-time and seamless connections between Unifiedpost’s customers, their suppliers, their customers and other parties along the financial value chain. With its one-stop-shop solutions, Unifiedpost Group’s mission is to make administrative and financial processes simple and smart for its customers. Since its founding in 2001, Unifiedpost Group has grown significantly, expanding to offices in 15 countries throughout Europe, with more than 350 million documents processed in 2019, reaching over 400,000 SMEs and more than 250 Corporates across its platform today.
 
Noteworthy facts and figures:

  • Established in 2001, with a proven track record
  • 2019 pro-forma turnover € 69 million
  • 750+ employees throughout Europe
  • 350+ million documents processed in 2019
  • Diverse portfolio of clients across a wide variety of industries (banking, leasing, utilities, media, telecommunications, travel, social security service providers, public organisations, etc.) ranging from large internationals to SMEs
  • Unifiedpost Payments, a fully owned subsidiary, is recognised as a payment institution by the National Bank of Belgium
  • Certified Swift partner
  • International M&A track record
  • Listed on the regulated market of Euronext Brussels, symbol: UPG

 

(*) Warning about future statements: The statements contained herein may contain forecasts, future expectations, opinions and other future-oriented statements concerning the expected further performance of Unifiedpost Group on the markets in which it is active. Such future-oriented statements are based on the current insights and assumptions of management concerning future events. They naturally include known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which seem justified at the time that the statements are made, but may possibly turn out to be inaccurate. The actual results, performance or events may differ essentially from the results, performance or events which are expressed or implied in such future-oriented statements. Except where required by the applicable legislation, Unifiedpost Group shall assume no obligation to update, elucidate or improve future-oriented statements in this press release in the light of new information, future events or other elements and shall not be held liable on that account. The reader is warned not to rely unduly on future-oriented statements.