Ahold Delhaize announces that bol.Com acquires majority stake in delivery expert Cycloon

Zaandam, The Netherlands – Ahold Delhaize announces that bol.com, its online retailer in the Benelux, is entering into a strategic alliance with delivery expert Cycloon. The parties jointly intend to accelerate Cycloon’s growth and share the ambition to make delivery more sustainable and social. The current management of Cycloon will be continued and the existing shareholders of Cycloon will remain involved as shareholders. The transaction, in which bol.com acquires a majority stake, is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2022 and is subject to the opinion of the relevant works council and the usual approvals.

With the growth of e-commerce and the related logistics industry, challenges increase in terms of delivery capacity and the impact on the environment and infrastructure. The partnership with bol.com allows Cycloon to considerably accelerate its mission of green and social delivery, creating a lasting position with strong growth opportunities in a competitive market. For bol.com, the partnership ensures that a greater proportion of packages can be delivered by bicycle and that the online sales platform can offer customers the best delivery service.

Green and social
With its nationwide network of bicycle couriers and postal delivery staff, Cycloon sends mail and parcels to thousands of customers across the Netherlands. The company already saves 1,600 tonnes of CO2 per year and currently employs 600 people with physical, mental or psychological distance from the job market who receive additional advice from a work coach. Management and shareholders remain fully committed to the social culture and Cycloon’s sustainable mission to develop the organization and create new jobs. Cycloon looks forward to continuing courier and parcel delivery for current and new customers, as well as parcel delivery for bol.com, after the transaction is finalized. This will include packages from bol.com itself as well as packages from trading partners who stock their items in bol.com distribution centers.

Marieke Snoek, Managing Director Cycloon: “The partnership with bol.com gives us the opportunity to have an impact on a much larger scale. We will continue to invest in our people, network and partners, which will allow us to improve and further expand the services we provide to our current and new customers. In doing so, we discussed at length the principles that we stand for and continue to stand for as organizations.

Accelerate sustainable and flexible delivery
Bol.com has ambitious sustainable development goals and the collaboration with Cycloon contributes significantly to them. Vincent Weijers, Director of Logistics and Operations (COO) at bol.com: “We strongly believe in Cycloon’s sustainable and social mission. At the same time, this is a unique opportunity for bol.com and its business partners to accelerate the sustainability of our growing parcel delivery business and to expand our delivery capacity. In addition to this, we can further improve the convenience and service for our customers through flexible and smart delivery. The move towards a sustainable and socially responsible last mile is crucial for the future of e-commerce and we will continue to work with all of our delivery partners to achieve this. With a majority stake in Cycloon, we are taking another step towards our stated ambition of reducing our direct footprint to 0 grams of CO2 emissions per package by 2025. “

Wouter Kolk, CEO of Ahold Delhaize Europe & Indonesia, said: “I am proud of the strategic partnership we have established together. This gives both organizations the opportunity to grow in a sustainable way. Investing in and improving the “last mile” of online order delivery, and making it more sustainable, is a big part of our strategy. Working with Cycloon can help ensure that bol.com customers shop when and where they want.

Conditions and process
The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including approval from the competent authorities, coordination with unions and advice from the works council. The transaction is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2022, subject to all conditions being met. Four years after the transaction, bol.com will buy back the remaining shares. Cycloon will then continue to exist as an independent brand.

About Cycloon
Cycloon, is the Dutch green and social delivery expert. Cycloon’s mission is to make the delivery market greener and more social. From that mission, Cycloon launched a nationwide bicycle courier platform in 2016 and now delivers to over 60 cities. Thus, a nationwide parcel service with around 800 bicycle couriers has become a reality. In addition, Cycloon employs 600 postal workers with (former) remoteness from the labor market.

About bol.com
In 1999 bol.com was founded in the Netherlands from a construction site in Vianen. We were the first online bookstore in Europe. More than 20 years later, we are the largest online retail platform in the Benelux and have expanded our range of books to millions of items in dozens of product categories, with an emphasis on the no -food. From the start, we have had the ambition to improve the retail business. We do this with 47,000 local entrepreneurs who sell through bol.com to our customers; 12 million Dutch and Belgians. We believe in the power of collaboration, because only with our partners can we offer our customers the best shopping (experience). As a “store for all of us”, we want to be accessible to everyone. We understand our customers and are there for them, when and where they need us. We always offer convenience, reliability and choice. Together we are changing retail to make everyday life easier. Bol.com employs over 2,500 people, working at the head office in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Since 2012, bol.com has been a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize.

About Ahold Delhaize
Ahold Delhaize is one of the largest food distribution groups in the world and a leader in supermarkets and e-commerce. Its family of top local brands serve 54 million customers every week, in-store and online, in the United States, Europe and Indonesia. Together, these brands employ more than 410,000 people in 7,137 grocery and specialty stores and include the leading online retailer in the Benelux and the leading online grocers in the Benelux and the United States. The Ahold Delhaize brands are at the forefront of sustainable retail, sourcing responsibly, supporting local communities and helping customers make healthier choices. The company’s focus on four growth drivers – driving omnichannel growth, raising healthily and sustainably, cultivating top talent and strengthening operational excellence – helps fulfill its purpose, realize its vision and prepare its brands. and its activities for tomorrow. Based in Zaandam, the Netherlands, Ahold Delhaize is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels stock exchanges (ticker: AD) and its American Depositary Receipts are traded on the over-the-counter market in the United States and listed on the international market OTCQX (ticker: ADRNY). For more information, visit: www.aholddelhaize.com

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