Polish company buys Czech e-commerce leader in billion-dollar deal

The Mall Group, one of the Czech Republic’s largest internet marketplaces, has been bought by Polish e-commerce group Allegro.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.11.2021 12:25 (updated on 07.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Mall Group, one of the Czech Republic’s biggest online retailers, has been bought by Polish e-commerce group Allegro in a billion-dollar deal. The deal will see the Polish group take over 100 percent of the Mall Group as well as the WeDo delivery platform.

Allegro will take over the Mall Group and WeDo’s assets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. The transaction will not, however, affect Mall Pay, Mall.TV, Vivantis, or Košík.cz, which were previously separated from the Mall Group.

Until now, the Mall Group and WeDo have been owned by the Rockaway Capital investment group, the late-billionaire Petr Kellner’s PPF Group, and EC Investments, owned by Daniel Křetínský and Patrik Tkáč. Allegro said its acquisition of the companies would give them access to a retail market of 70 million people in the Central Europe region.

“Byers will benefit from improved selection, price and convenience, while a shared base of around 135,000 merchants will be able to ‘list once, sell everywhere’,” said Allegro CEO François Nuyts in a press statement.

In the last financial year, the Mall Group increased its turnover by 26 percent to CZK 20.7 billion. This huge growth may be attributed to the effects of the Covid pandemic, which forced more people to shop online than ever before. The group also saw an increase in the number of orders 31 percent, to 14 million in total.

The WeDo logistics company was established last year following the takeover of the InTime courier service; in its first year owned by the same investment group as the Mall Group, WeDo transported almost ten million shipments.

Allegro operates Allegro.pl, the largest non-food online retailer in Poland. Its acquisition of the Mall Group is an attempt to strengthen its operations throughout Central Europe as it faces increasingly stiff competition at home from foreign e-commerce players such as Amazon and Shopee.

The deal is expected to be financed through a majority cash payment, combined with the issuance of some of Allegro’s stocks back to existing shareholders. According to a spokesperson for Rockaway Capital, this method of financing will allow those who built the Mall Group into its current state to “continue to participate in its story.”

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