Majority stake in Hermes UK sold to InPost investor Advent International

By Chris Dawson August 11, 2020 - 11:01 am

Otto Group is entering into a partnership in the parcel delivery sector in order to develop further growth potential. An agreement has been signed with Advent International to acquire a 75% stake in Hermes UK and 25% stake in Hermes Germany, subject to approval by the boards and relevant antitrust authorities.

Hermes was created as the private delivery arm for the Otto Group so it’s no surprise to see them keep a large stake of their domestic German courier. Similarly to how we’ve most recently seen Amazon Shipping first delivering parcels for Amazon and then open to ship parcels for anyone regardless of where they were sold, Hermes grew to be one of the biggest carriers in Europe and today ship more packets than anyone bar Royal Mail. In the 2019/20 financial year, in the UK and Germany Hermes transported more than 760 million parcels. In the current financial year, both businesses are recording high volume growth against the COVID-19 pandemic backdrop. In response to this and in expectation of continued growth in the parcel delivery sector, Hermes is further expanding its staff capacity.

But there’s another interesting twist to the investment by Advent International – they’ve already invested in InPost and so have a solid footprint of lockers both here in the UK and across Europe. This solidifies their relationship with Hermes where you can book a locker delivery as easily as delivery to home or a Parcelshop.

“The enormous interest shown by potential market partners in an investment reflects the attractiveness of the market segment and Hermes’ excellent market position in the two most important delivery markets in Europe. The partnership with Advent gives both companies further scope for essential investments and thus creates optimal conditions for further growth. Advent’s logistics expertise in areas such as locker delivery will also help us to further develop our business model.”
– Kay Schiebur, Member of the Executive Board, Services, Otto Group

Following this transaction, the Otto Group retains the majority of shares in Hermes Germany, and its core German market. In the UK, the Otto Group is relinquishing its majority shareholding in Hermes UK, while retaining representation in major strategic decisions. The operational management of both companies will continue with their respective management teams. Cooperation with Hermes’ business partners and clients will also remain unaffected.

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