Mutares, the prominent German investment company, has delivered a significant acquisition offer to La Poste, targeting the purchase of Stuart, a subsidiary and a versatile delivery platform. This move underscores Mutares’ commitment to bolstering its presence in the dynamic logistics and transportation sector across Europe.
In a press release issued on Monday, Mutares confirmed that it had submitted a “binding offer to purchase” Stuart, which presently operates under the La Poste group’s umbrella. This proposal comes as La Poste publicly acknowledged its inability to fully integrate Stuart into its operational framework effectively. It cited the absence of anticipated growth in instant parcel delivery as a key factor in this decision, with Stuart’s predominant focus being on the catering sector.
The transaction, once completed, is set to be a game-changer for Mutares. It will serve as a strategic lever to enhance the company’s foothold in the European logistics and transportation arena. Mutares is optimistic about the deal’s timeline, aiming for finalization “before the end of 2023.” However, this process is contingent on approval from relevant staff representative bodies and the necessary authorization from the pertinent control and governance entities.
In its first-half financial statements, La Poste had already factored in the provisions related to Stuart, amounting to €134 million. The rationale behind this provisioning was grounded in Stuart’s persistent financial losses since its acquisition by La Poste, coupled with the formidable challenges in envisioning a turnaround for the company. This decision was communicated to the public in August through a press release.
Stuart, part of the SRT Group, is an active player in over 100 major European cities, amassing a substantial annual turnover exceeding €400 million. The company, initially a subsidiary of Geopost with a 22% stake in 2015, saw La Poste acquire full ownership in 2017. Currently, Stuart boasts a workforce of 203 employees in France.
Mutares’ strategic offer to acquire Stuart represents a significant development in the logistics and transportation sector. As the deal progresses, it will be closely watched for its potential to reshape the competitive landscape and drive innovation in the delivery and logistics markets.