Hong Kong television network TVB has led a majority buyout of local e-commerce company Ztore, investing HK$200 million (US$25.7 million) for a 75-per-cent stake.
Television Broadcasts will take a majority stake and voting rights, backed up by Shaw Brothers Holdings, while Ztore’s co-founders, CEO Danny Shum Tik Chan and COO Jack Leung Tsz Ki, will continue to lead the business post-transaction.
Ztore operates a marketplace operating under its own name and a second site Neigbuy.
TVB says that when added to its own online business, it expects Ztore will expand the scale of its e-commerce GMV four-fold.
Over recent years, TVB has been working to build and monetise its direct-to-consumer businesses including video streaming services and e-commerce alongside traditional advertising services. “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated shifting to digital lifestyles and online shopping has become a new normal,” TVB said in a statement announcing the purchase.
Its own e-commerce platform Big Big Shop has been built on a ‘show on TV and sell in-store’ business model, aimed at turning its television audiences into its online customers.
“TVB has identified e-commerce as an important engine for future growth,” the company said.
“This transaction is expected to create significant positive synergistic effects for both TVB and Ztore. TVB will benefit from Ztore’s e-commerce managerial resources to support future growth and the transaction will also accelerate customer acquisitions and GMV for Ztore with the increased promotion on TVB’s channels and platforms.”
“Substantial synergies” are expected to be gained from the integration of warehouse management and order fulfilment systems as well as the integration of the two companies’ network of pickup points which will create the territory’s largest network after the merger.