SES-imagotag, BOE and JD Digits join forces in China

The three partners will form a joint venture to develop and market retail IoT solutions

SES-imagotag, BOE and JD Digits join forces in China

SES-imagotag (Euronext: SESL, FR0010282822), the global leader in Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) and retail IoT solutions, BOE Technology, the world leader in semiconductor displays as well as an IoT company providing intelligent interfaces (Shenzhen SHE:000725), and JD Digits, a leading Chinese digital technology company, announced today that they have signed an agreement to form a joint venture to provide smart solutions to support the digitalization of physical retail.

China is a key market in meeting those ambitions. It is the largest digital nation in the world with nearly 800 million Internet users and has the highest penetration rate for e-commerce and mobile payments. The country is at the leading-edge of the digital transformation of physical retail implementing a true online to offline convergence model, notably enhanced by Internet powerhouses’ companies.

First established under JD.com, China’s largest retailer, JD Digits began operating as an independent business group in 2013. With its expertise in big data, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain, JD Digits is reshaping the face of many sectors including finance, urban computing, agriculture, campus services, and digital marketing. JD Digits believes cutting edge technologies will help the industry improve its efficiency and bring higher quality services to consumers worldwide.

For its part, BOE, the world leader in semiconductor displays, is also now the global leader in IoT physical retail thanks to its investment of over €300-million in SES-imagotag. The three companies will combine their know-how and technologies to develop solutions to improve in-store efficiency, and to achieve more effective collaboration between brands and retailers, and in-store merchandising. Their technology will also enable retailers POS promotions, stock optimization and on-shelf availability by digitalizing the supply chain from end to end, also enriching store data and boosting shopper connectivity.

This alliance will further aid SES-imagotag’s penetration of the Chinese market by facilitating cooperation and access to digital start-ups, brands and chains in the JD Digits’ ecosystem, as well as with its powerful network of shareholders and stake-holdings.

Once the definitive investment protocol is signed, the joint venture company will be formed in China; SES-imagotag will hold a 51% stake in the entity, with a 15% share for BOE and a 34% share for JD Digits. The total investment will be approximately US $30 million in capital over several years. The joint venture’s Board of Directors will consist of seven members, four of which will be appointed by
SES-imagotag. The Group will therefore have the control of the joint venture and its results will be consolidated in SES-imagotag’s financial statements. The completion of this transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearances, is anticipated by the end of H1 2019.

Thierry Gadou, Chairman and CEO of SES-imagotag comments: “This joint venture sets
SES-imagotag at the heart of a powerful tech ecosystem in the fastest growing and most digital region in the world. Since entering into the alliance with BOE, we have a strong team in place in China and have launched pilot projects with more than 30 retailers in over 150 stores. Partnering with JD Digits shows that BOE and SES-imagotag are not only seen as leaders in their own fields, but are also seen as being at the forefront of the entire digital technology transformation of retail. The JV will also help us convert pilot projects into successful roll-outs in the region, a key milestone towards achieving the Group’s strategic plan VUSION 2022 that targets 50% of sales from outside Europe by 2022.”

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