Rocket Internet’s Zalora has officially confirmed the company has signed agreements to sell its Vietnam and Thailand enterprises, with the final closing and settlement expected to come in the coming days.
Zalora CEO Michelle Ferrario released a statement regarding the sale, which can be read below:
“This move will allow us to capture opportunities and strengthen our position in our markets, as we gear towards accelerating our growth. We are happy to have contributed to the vibrancy of Thailand and Vietnam’s e-commerce scene, and we trust that the future owners will continue to build on what we started. We remain committed to providing consumers in the region the best online and mobile shopping experience possible.”
Jon Russell from TechCrunch initially broke the news on Monday, and according to his report the buyer is retail giant Central Group. The report said each entity (Vietnam and Thailand) will be sold for about US$10 million each, but the exact number could be subject to fluctuations as the two sides negotiate the settlement.
Founded in 1947, Central Group is a Thailand’s largest retailer. On March 2, Reuters reported the company plans on investing US$1.1 billion in various ventures in 2016.
As of yet, a timetable has not been released for when all facets of the transaction will be completed, but Zalora said the service will remain available to all customers during the transition period.
After the sale, Zalora will have a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
While Zalora and Lazada are separate entities, both are Rocket Internet companies and the Zalora sell-off comes just two weeks after Alibaba bought a controlling stake in Lazada for US$1 billion.
Zalora is not a profitable company but it did experience nice growth in 2015. According to official 2015 Rocket Internet financial results, net revenue grew by 77.5 per cent year-on-year to €208 million (US$234.5 million) but the EBITDA net income ran at a deficit of €93.5 million (US$105.7 million). Total orders in 2015 were 6.1 million (a 58.5 per cent growth) and its total orders ‘active customers’ (requiring one order in 12 months) was 2.7 million.
Furthermore, news hit today that Rocket Internet’s Global Fashion Group (GFG), which raises money for all of the company’s fashion enterprises (including Zalora), completed a €300 million (US$339.4 million) round. Rocket Internet executives cited an emphasis on achieving profitability for GFG companies an an important use for the money.
Zalora was founded in March 2012.