Swiss Post wants to join forces with Otto in Germany

The opportunity for GeoPost, the branch of the La Poste group dedicated to express transport, to strengthen its position on a European scale in this rapidly growing activity.

La Poste has made an offer to take control of German Hermes.
La Poste has made an offer to take control of German Hermes. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

The Covid crisis has boosted parcel delivery to the general public. The opportunity for GeoPost, the branch of the La Poste group dedicated to express transport, to strengthen its position on a European scale in this fast-growing activity when its historic business, mail distribution, continues to decline. Early August, La Poste made an offer to take control of German Hermes, according to The world . A subsidiary of the Otto group, Hermes is number two in delivery to the general public in Germany behind Deutsche Post DHL with 20% market share. It is also present in the United Kingdom and in France.

In recent months, Otto has sought partners to strengthen its position in its key markets. Several players have joined the ranks to buy out parts of activities or take a stake in Hermes: GeoPost, but also the investment fund Advent International and FedEx.

On August 10, Otto Group announced that Advent would take 75% of the capital of Hermes UK and 25% of Hermes Germany. According to The world, La Poste proposed the creation of a joint venture with Otto controlled by GeoPost, bringing together DPD, a subsidiary of La Poste in Germany, and Hermes Germany.

This investment would enable La Poste to influence the leading European parcel delivery market for individuals: twenty parcels are delivered per year and per inhabitant in Germany; in France, the average is eight packages.

The race for acquisitions in Europe is a necessity for postal groups facing the giants UPS, FedEx and DHL, which have giant fleets of vehicles and planes, and even Amazon, their first customer and their most formidable competitor since it has also embarked on logistics.

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