Zalora buy-in ushers Ayala foray into e-commerce

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - February 24, 2017 - 11:28pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Ayala Group, the country’s oldest conglomerate, has acquired a 49 percent stake in online fashion retailer Zalora Philippines, marking its foray into the e-commerce space.

“This investment demonstrates how we, at Ayala, look at innovation and growth opportunities. We see the potential of e-commerce in the country, and believe that the Ayala Group can benefit and add tremendous value to Zalora,” said Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

“With resources in banking, real estate and telecommunications, the investment presents new opportunities for Ayala to generate synergies throughout the e-commerce value chain,” he added.

Ayala Corp. inked a deal with BF Jade E-Service Philippines, which owns Zalora Philippines, currently the country’s largest online fashion platform offering a wide range of fashion and lifestyle products.

 The conglomerate will take a 43.3 percent stake while Ayala Land Inc., BPI Capital Corp. and Kickstart Ventures Inc. also acquired minority interests in BF-Jade.

BPI Capital Corp. and Kickstart are wholly owned subsidiaries of BPI and Globe Telecom Inc., respectively.

The acquisition is part of Ayala’s strategy to invest in new disruptive businesses that provide innovative solutions to evolving markets, Zobel said.

The group recognizes that e-commerce is a unique growth channel that complements existing businesses, drawing on synergies with the rest of the Ayala group.

Zalora Philippines’ proprietary retail and logistics platform is able to secure the needs of a rapidly changing market.

“With the rising demands of the communities that we serve, we believe new business models such as Zalora’s can provide alternative solutions and services that are complementary to our traditional brick and mortar operations.

As a group, we have always strived to stay relevant and dynamic, continuously seeking new ways to evolve in line with reaching consumers, and delivering products and services according to their needs,” Zobel said.

Zalora Philippines was co-founded in 2012 as part of the global network of the Zalora Group, which is 100 percent owned by the Global Fashion Group (GFG), the world’s largest online fashion platform for emerging markets.

Global Fashion Group CEO Romain Voog said through the partnership with Ayala Corp., Zalora Philippines would now not only be able to benefit from the support and expertise of GFG and Zalora but also from the synergies and support of the Ayala companies.

“We are confident that together, we are in a unique position to strengthen the leadership of Zalora Philippines, as we deliver the best online fashion shopping experience to Filipino consumers across the archipelago,” Voog said.

Similarly, Zalora Philippines co-founder and CEO Paulo Campos said with millions of Filipinos increasingly going online and with the average Filipino spending more time online per day than any other country in the world, there has never been a more exciting time for e-commerce in this country.

“This important partnership with the Ayala Group of companies will allow us to further accelerate the growth of our business from our leading position in fashion e-commerce in the country today,” he said.

At present, Zalora gives Filipino consumers access to over 1,000 local and international brands including exclusive online retailing from leading fashion brands such as Nike, Adidas and Ivy Park, in addition to leading local brands such as Bench, Penshoppe and CLN.                   

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