A consortium led by Post Danmark and backed by CVC Capital Partners was today selected by the Belgian Government and the Belgian Post (“De Post-La Poste”) as strategic partner for De Post-La Poste. This strategic partnership is part of plans aimed at modernising De Post-La Poste in preparation for the possible full liberalisation of European postal services in 2009. Under the terms of the partnership, Post Danmark and CVC will take an interest of 50% minus one share in the De Post-La Poste in return for an investment – via a capital increase – of EUR 300 million to support the group’s strategic plan. The Belgian State will retain the majority. The Belgian State, De Post-La Poste and the consortium have developed a Joint Development Plan for the Belgian Post to improve efficiency and levels of customer service and to ensure that the Post will continue to play a leading role in the provision of postal services in Belgium in an increasingly competitive market. Longer term the partners see a number of opportunities for growth of the business.
Under the terms of the partnership and pursuant to the Joint Development Plan, Post Danmark will second a number of postal experts to De Post-La Poste over the coming years. Based on the experiences from transforming Post Danmark into one of Europe’s most efficient postal services in Europe these experts will help De Post-La Poste to realize a set of specifically identified projects. Key to Post Danmark’s success has been a high level of staff involvement in the formulation and implementation of the restructuring, and the intention is to adopt the same approach as it relates to De Post-La Poste, focusing on staff involvement and empowerment by means of self supporting teams.
Under the new ownership structure, demanding new targets have been set for the business including increasing the next-day-delivery rate to at least 95 per cent and through modernization and transformation of the retail network to make it more efficient and responsive to customer demands.
The closing of the transaction is currently expected to take place around year-end. The new shareholder in De Post-La Poste is Post Invest Europe Sarl, owned equally by Post Danmark and CVC Capital Partners.
It is expected that Fritz Schur, chairman of Post Danmark, Helge Israelsen, CEO of Post Danmark, Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen, managing director, CVC Denmark and Geert Duyck, senior managing director, CVC Belgium will join the Board of Directors of De Post-La Poste upon completion of the transaction.
“Post Danmark has come a long way in modernizing its Danish operations. I am confident that De Post-La Poste can benefit from the Danish experience in its preparations for the intensified competition to come. The assistance of Post Danmark in the modernization of De Post-La Poste will enable the company to improve the service to the Belgian public and to enhance employee satisfaction,” states Johan Vande Lanotte, the Belgian Minister of Public Enterprises.
“I have no doubt that we will make an excellent strategic partner to De Post-La Poste. The company’s modernization process is already well underway and we are looking forward to work with its management. Our own progress in Denmark relies to a great extent on direct staff involvement, and I believe that our experiences in this area can be put to good use in De Post-La Poste”, says Helge Israelsen, CEO of Post Danmark.
“I am very pleased with the agreement. We are determined to continue our modernization program and I am convinced that the partnership with Post Danmark will become a catalyst for our efforts to strengthen our position”, says Johnny Thijs, CEO of De Post-La Poste.