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Financials

Advent buys stake in logistics firm Hermes from Germany's Otto

FRANKFURT/HAMBURG, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Private equity group Advent International has agreed to buy stakes in the UK and German logistics operations of German retailer Otto, the groups said on Monday.

While no details on the price of the country’s first retail deal during the COVID-19 pandemic were disclosed, two people familiar with the matter said that the deal values Hermes UK and Germany at around 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion), including debt.

Otto said Advent is buying 75% of Hermes UK and 25% of Hermes Germany as well as a number of smaller activities, declining to specify figures for revenues or profit.

“In the current financial year, both companies are recording high volume growth in the context of the coronavirus pandemic,” the companies said.

In both the UK and Germany, Hermes transported over 760 million shipments in their fiscal 2019/20. Hermes is investing in new staff to benefit from expected growth in demand as consumers increasingly order online.

Peer Deutsche Post last week reported a 16% rise in second-quarter operating profit, citing a big increase in parcel shipments during the pandemic.

BEVH, a German lobby group for ecommerce traders, said that the industry’s revenues were up 16.5% in the second quarter.

“The partnership with Advent gives both companies further scope for important investments and creates optimal conditions for further growth”, said Otto Group board member Kay Schiebur. ($1 = 0.8503 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Jan Schwartz; Additional reporting by Emma Thomasson Editing by Michelle Martin)

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