bpost is Belgium’s incumbent and leading postal operator with consolidated revenues of €2.3 billion. At the end of 2009, bpost had just under 30,000 full-time equivalent employees, of which 65% were statutories (civil servants) and 35% were contractual employees.
bpost is organised in four business units: Mail, Retail and Financial Services (‘RFS’), Express and a series of subsidiaries providing Value Added Services (‘VAS’). The Mail business unit generates 81% of bpost’s consolidated revenues. This unit consists of around 14,000 mailboxes, five sorting centres, each of which is located near a major Belgian city and serves two of Belgium’s ten provinces, and a network of distribution offices. RFS operates a retail network of around 1,400 post offices and postal points, and distributes postal, convenience, financial and banking and insurance products. Express provides door-to-door and technical delivery services. VAS is involved in financial and administrative document management, newspaper and unaddressed direct mail distribution, electronic communication and certification services and mail room management.
The investment represented a unique opportunity to acquire a significant stake in a major European postal operator whose market is strategically located at the crossroads of the Dutch, French and German markets, with dominant market positions in its domestic and international mail businesses.