An American private equity firm is making its biggest bet yet on the British economy by taking over a company that is among those delivering online acquisitions to people staying at home during the pandemic.
Advent is paying €1 billion for a 75 per cent stake in the UK operations of Hermes, a business owned by Otto, a German ecommerce group. Advent is also taking a 25 per cent stake in Otto’s German operations.
Hermes is one of the bigger delivery companies operating in Britain, dispatching goods from, among others, John Lewis and Next, the retailers.
Home delivery is a low-margin business in a highly competitive market in which Royal Mail remains the biggest player. It is under threat, however, from the likes of Amazon,