Jessica Rudd has sold 45 per cent of her business to a HK-based ecommerce technology firm. Picture: Jono Searle.
Jessica Rudd has sold 45 per cent of her business to a HK-based ecommerce technology firm. Picture: Jono Searle.

Kevin Rudd’s daughter in $22.5m online deal

THE daughter of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has deepened her ties to Asia, selling a stake in her online retail business to a Hong Kong-based ecommerce technology firm for an estimated $22.5 million.

Under the deal announced today, eCargo Holdings will acquire 45 per cent of the shares in Jessica Rudd's business Jessica's Suitcase but she will continue to exercise full management operation and control.

In exchange, Ms Rudd will receive 15 per cent of the securities in eCargo which were worth almost $22.5 million on Monday based on eCargo's closing share price. The Hong Kong firm has an option to acquire the remaining 55 per cent of the shares in Jessica's Suitcase within 18 months.

Ms Rudd has also been appointed a non-executive director of eCargo.

She is the founder and managing director of Jessica's Suitcase, which was launched in 2014 and now sells more than 150 Australian lifestyle products online to Chinese consumers.

They include products from Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Sukin, Aerogard, Freedom Foods, Absolute Organics and Bubs goat milk infant formula, which is associated with her husband, Albert Tse.

Ms Rudd said she was thrilled to team up with eCargo, which has more than 50 years of experience in trade and logistics.

"Since we launched Jessica's Suitcase, I've learned a lifetime of lessons about how Australia and the wider West could, with the right help, flourish in the world's largest and savviest cohort of consumers,'' Ms Rudd said.

John Lau, chairman of eCargo, said he was "very excited'' to team up with Ms Rudd.

"Jessica is the only Australian-born-and-based key opinion leader… who has a strong reach in both Australia and China markets,'' Lau said.

Jessica's Suitcase generated nearly $240,000 in revenue in the last financial year. In the first five months of the current financial year it has pulled in $451,000.

Meanwhile, eCargo reported a $HK48 million loss in the six months to June 30.

Ms Rudd, who previously worked in Beijing, started her working life as a media and intellectual property lawyer.

Shares in eCargo closed up 19.6¢ to 28¢ on the ASX on Monday.



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