Kiala is a pan-European courier service offering parcel delivery to convenient customer collection points, reducing costs for suppliers and increasing flexibility for consumers. Founded in 2000 in Belgium, Kiala made steady progress expanding across Europe, but by 2007 was still loss-making and needed finance to grow further.
Scottish Equity Partners invested alongside others and worked with management on strategic business planning and prioritising expansion targets to stem losses and bring Kiala to break-even point. It also helped appoint Kiala’s first independent non-executive director and played a vital role in the eventual sale to UPS in 2012. The company is now a central part of UPS’s collection point service which goes by the name of UPS Access Point in the UK and UPS Paket Shop in Germany.
SEP’s input was always constructive and pragmatic. Its commercial, financial and legal expertise, together with its wider industry contacts, helped achieve the successful sale to UPS.
Nikki Beckett Non-executive Director, Kiala
What did the business need?
- Funding for European expansion and growth
- Strategic guidance on strategy and expansion targets
- Improved financial discipline
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Worked closely with management on the strategic expansion plan
- Scrutinised the business model in new territories
- Imposed financial discipline and carried out detailed financial modelling
- Helped find new backers and negotiated banking support
- Implemented a new network and transport system in France
- Invested approx. €2m a year in the technology platform to improve operational efficiency
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Expanded to 7,200 Kiala Points and 1,050 Click & Collect Points
- Increased European presence with distribution in five European markets (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Spain)
- Increased revenues to €47.2m in 2010 from €25.7m in 2007
- Halted losses and brought company to break-even point