Global Blue raises $70 million in equity capital to buy ZigZag tech platform

By Luke Barras-hill |

Global Blue and ZigZag will provide complementary services that take advantage of the e-commerce boom, particularly among luxury brands.

Tax refund specialist Global Blue has acquired e-commerce returns platform ZigZag Global in a deal that will help connect retail merchants to omni-channel technology and payment solutions.

New York Stock Exchange listed Global Blue is funding the acquisition by leveraging $70 million through a private placement of common stock issued to new institutional investors.

The transaction expects to close by the end of March.

ZigZag Global is a Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) solution that helps e-commerce retailers manage domestic and global returns by connecting them to a network of more than 220 warehouses and more than 450 carrier services in excess of 130 countries.

It boasts a high-profile client list including Selfridges, Gap, Superdry, DHL and The Hut Group.

FIRST BUYOUT SINCE NYSE LISTING

Jacques Stern, CEO and President of Global Blue commented: “With this first acquisition since our listing on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2020, Global Blue has the ambition to become a strategic omni-channel technology and payments partner empowering merchants to capture growth opportunities.

“ZigZag is an exciting, fast-growing, emerging leader in e-commerce, specialised in the management of e-commerce returns. The synergies between the two companies are strong and will help both of us to grow faster.”

E-commerce returns continue to be a major problem for retailers, says Global Blue, with more than 40% of orders (on average) returned.

The transaction will allow Global Blue to benefit from ZigZag’s e-commerce expertise while building on existing client relationships and establishing new ones.

In turn, ZigZag will be able to cross-sell its solutions into Global Blue’s expansive merchant network and integrate with its payment and data capabilities.

According to Global Blue, ZigZag’s technology –­ which as of December assisted around 100 global e-commerce retailers – posted growth of more than 500% of its processed returns versus 2019.

The software is positioned to improve retailers’ profitability by reducing logistical costs, local market reselling and inbound consumer queries, plus exchange rather than return of goods.

Retailers and consumers can use an online returns portal, rather than the conventional ‘label in the box’ method, in a move designed to improve the returns process.

A range of shipping options are available, including at the Post Office, parcel shops, lockers and collection from home, as well as exchange alternatives.

Al Gerrie, CEO and Founder of ZigZag added: “As a market leader focused on technological innovation for merchants and consumers, Global Blue is an ideal fit for ZigZag. We are confident that our partnership and our ambitious joint investment plan will accelerate our growth even further.”

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