Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch supermarket retailer, has announced that it has bought Bol.com, the largest online retailer in the Netherlands, from Cyrte Investments and NPM Capital for 350 million euros ($469 million).
Ahold Chief Executive Officer Dick Boer said in the statement that the acquisition will bring the platform, scale and expertise it will need to accelerate our growth in online retailing.
Boer is expecting to triple online sales to 1.5 billion euros in 2016 as well as expanding the geographic reach of the company.
Its capabilities and operations in non-food categories will broaden our assortment and increase our online presence, he added. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter.
Nearly 50 percent of Dutch customers who made online purchases in 2011 shopped at bol.com. In 2011, Bol.com had sold more than 17 million products for 355 million euros and it has 3.4 million active customers. Books, entertainment, electronics and toys are among the major products it offers online.
Bol.com has a proven track record of delivering double digit sales growth and attractive returns, Ahold stated.
Bol.com will join other retail brands namely Albert Heijn, Etos, Gall & Gall and albert.nl, which Ahold owns.