By Emma-Victoria Farr and Amy-Jo Crowley
FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - Private equity group Advent International is considering options, including a potential sale, for its British parcel delivery service Evri, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Advent holds a 75% stake in Evri and is working with advisers on its options for the business, which could be valued at around 2 billion pounds ($2.55 billion) including debt, one of the people, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
German mail order company Otto Group holds 25% of the business formerly known as Hermes UK. Evri generated sales revenue of 1.4 billion pounds in its 2023 financial year, unchanged from the previous year, its latest results show.
In recent months, Evri has seen an uptick in performance that will show in its next set of results, adding momentum for a potential sale, the person said.
Advent and Otto Group declined to comment. Evri did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Evri started as Grattan Mail Order in 1974 in Bradford, Yorkshire, with staff and their families delivering parcels and invoices to customers.
The company was rebranded as Hermes before Advent took a majority stake in the UK business in 2020, as well as a 25% stake in Hermes Germany from Otto Group. Hermes UK became Evri under Advent's ownership in 2022.
Last year, Evri doubled its number of electric vans in service in London and brought electric vehicles to 37% of its total van fleet. By the end of its full year 2022/23, Evri said it delivered more than 160,000 parcels by bicycle.
Evri has come under pressure to improve its services after an online shopping boom following the COVID-19 pandemic. Parcel delivery firms experienced a peak in demand and Evri customers complained of delays or not receiving their packages at all.
Evri responded in November last year that it would continue to improve its services after repeatedly being ranked near or at the bottom of some customer satisfaction league tables.
It said it had invested more than 130 million pounds in its UK operations in the last two years.
($1 = 0.7852 pounds)
(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr and Amy-Jo Crowley; Editing by Anousha Sakoui and Alexander Smith)