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Boxed grocery courier to publish in SPAC transactions

Boxed Inc., a grocery delivery service. Announced that it will take advantage of the surge in delivery demand during the Covid-19 pandemic to make it public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Acquisition of Box and Seven Oaks Co., Ltd.

SVOK 0.62%

The deal will bring the merged company’s value to nearly $ 900 million, allowing it to serve more households and businesses that have begun ordering groceries online during a pandemic.

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Chieh Huang, CEO and co-founder of Boxed and continuing to lead the company, said:

Huang launched Boxed in 2013 from a two-car garage in New Jersey. There, he and three co-founders bought and shipped groceries. Today, Boxed delivers bulky items such as groceries, toilet paper and office supplies from fulfillment centers to consumers and businesses across the country.

Over the past year, many have become accustomed to shopping online for groceries. Huang said he hopes shoppers will continue to try out new products and a wide range of services through delivery.

Boxed faces intensifying competition for business. Although higher than before the pandemic, grocery delivery sales have slowed recently. Instacart Inc scheduled to be released. Has touted the service to businesses and recently introduced a 30-minute delivery.Instacart, door dash Co., Ltd.

dash 6.43%

And Uber Technologies Of a corporation

UBER 0.93%

In addition to restaurant meals and groceries, the Uber Eats division also offers a wide range of baby products, prescriptions, electronics and more. Despite recent growth, they are struggling to make a profit, under pressure from labor costs and shipping costs.

Boxed isn’t profitable, Huang said, but Boxed and Seven Oaks predicted that software, advertising and distribution businesses would help make money within a few years. Boxed’s sales growth has also slowed from its highs at the start of the pandemic last spring, but the company said it plans to continue adding customers.

Huang said increasing deliveries to businesses in particular could be more profitable than selling to individual households.Selling Boxed to companies such as United Airlines Holdings Co., Ltd.

UAL 0.46%

He said workers were at home during the pandemic, but are now recovering, so last year they were cut in half from 2019.

“We think it will be America’s most prolific reopening,” he said.

Upon completion of the transaction, Boxed will be assigned a stock valuation of approximately $ 878 million and will be given approximately $ 334 million in cash. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Boxed’s existing backers are rolling over investments in public companies bearing the Boxed name.

New York-based Seven Oaks has considered acquiring about 70 companies in the last six months, said CEO Gary Matthews. He said Seven Oaks was attracted to Boxed’s software and the robotic technology used in its fulfillment centers. Boxed said it has consolidated large orders to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and that the majority of its approximately 200 corporate employees are of color.

Searching for targets to be published in combination SPAC is becoming more popular. Investor enthusiasm for strategy has recently diminished as regulators stepped up scrutiny of such transactions and stocks of some well-known vehicles underperformed.

Write to Jaewon Kang (jaewon.kang@wsj.com)

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Boxed grocery courier to publish in SPAC transactions

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