September 17, 2012, 3:14 PM

French postal service company buys a logistics provider for e-retailers

The deal is designed to attract traditional retailers looking to expand online.

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French postal service company Le Groupe La Poste has purchased Orium, a company that specializes in providing logistics services to retailers selling online. La Poste did not say how much it paid for Orium, which is also based in France.

The purchase marks La Poste’s second acquisition of a logistics company. In 2007, it bought logistics and fulfillment company Neolog. Neolog employs 480 staff and posted 307 million euros (US $403 million) in sales for 2011.

The purchase of Orium further expands La Poste’s logistics capabilities across several European countries and is part of its strategy to better target traditional retailers looking to expand their online operations, the company says, particularly e-retailers in the U.S. looking to expand overseas. The increased number of fulfillment centers the company gets with the acquisition will especially appeal to U.S. companies looking to expand their reach throughout Europe, it says.

“This agreement will pave the way for numerous traditional retailers hoping to access the potential of the Internet with a trusted provider capable of implementing b2b and b2c logistics,” says Stéphane Sentis, president of Neolog.

La Poste is a publicly owned corporation that operates approximately 170,000 bricks-and-mortar branches that offer postal, parcel and banking services. It has 268,000 employees.

Orium was founded in 2004 and has 10 European warehouses that together cover 165,000 square feet and ship 4 million packages a year. It has 200 employees and offers fulfillment services for online retailers in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. 

Orium and Neolog combined operate 18 European warehouse and distribution centers.

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