Samsonite to buy US-based online travel bags retailer eBags

Samsonite International, the world's biggest luggage maker, yesterday struck a deal to buy US-based online travel bags retailer eBags Inc for $105 million in cash, in order to expand its e-commerce business in North America.

The deal comes a year after the Samsonite acquired New Jersey-based premium travel luggage and accessories maker Tumi Holdings Inc for $1.8 billion in cash. (See: Samsonite to buy premium travel luggage maker Tumi Holdings for $1.8 bn)

The Hong Kong-based company expects to fund the deal through internal resources and a revolving credit facility.

Samsonite said that the acquisition is part of its ongoing strategy to accelerate growth of its direct-to-consumer, ecommerce business, and strengthen its existing digital capabilities.

Founded in 1998, eBags has a diverse portfolio of travel bags and accessories including luggage, backpacks, handbags, business bags, travel accessories and apparel.

The Colorado-based company sells products from a wide variety of leading travel and fashion brands, as well as products under the eBags brand.

eBags recorded net sales of $158.51 million for the fiscal year ended 25 December 2016, an increase of 23.5 per cent from the $128.3 million in net sales recorded during the fiscal year ended 27December 2015.

''As the No. 1 online luggage and bag specialist in the U.S., eBags is an excellent complement to Samsonite's existing business,'' said Ramesh Tainwala, CEO of Samsonite.

''The acquisition provides us with a strong platform to significantly expand our direct-to-consumer online presence, not just in North America but around the world. With eBags' immediate resources and digital expertise, we are able to expand our online retail capabilities in a meaningful way, driving stronger sales growth across all the brands in Samsonite's portfolio, said, Mike Edwards, president and CEO of eBags.