JD.com aims to expand into the EU via the UK

February 22, 2024 by
Frank Calviño

JD.com is pushing its EU expansion via the UK and is considering buying British electronics retailer Currys. At the same time, that company has reportedly already rejected an offer from a U.S. investment fund.

The Daily Telegraph stated in an article that it had received information that JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce titan, and Currys had held some informal talks to reach an acquisition agreement. T

The conversation comes at a key moment, as the Chinese company is looking for new lines of growth outside its country due to the strong competition in Asia and "would help protect it against a slowdown in sales in China," according to Emily Salter, senior analyst at GlobalData. 

Also, multiple media reported in November 2023 that JD.com was interested in acquiring a stake in Ceconomy Group, the parent company of MediaMarkt and Saturn.

JD.com's main rivals in its home country, PDD and Alibaba, have an overseas presence with international platforms. Meanwhile, JD.com overseas has mainly focused on building a logistics network, which goes by the name of Ochama and is present in some European countries.

Salter also explained that "the acquisition of Currys would not pay off immediately, but could allow it to strengthen its online operations further, helping it to better compete with Amazon."

JD.com confirms it 

Following speculation and media reports, JD.com has decided to issue a statement to the London Stock Exchange indicating that they are considering the possibility of acquiring the British retailer, but have not yet made a final decision on whether they will submit a bid for Currys. The Chinese company has until March 18 to determine whether it will make a formal offer for the British company.

Although Currys' share of the UK electrical products market has declined over the past 10 years, from 22.3% in 2014 to an estimated 19.1% in 2023, it remains the market leader in this sector. This makes it an attractive acquisition option, Salter concludes. In addition, due to speculation about JD.com's potential bid and Eliott Advisors' rejection of the purchase, the British company's shares have seen a 35% increase recently.

Currys has a market capitalization of $962 million (€865 million) and has 21 retail stores in the UK and Ireland, in addition to 800 leased stores in various international locations.

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