Yodel, Liverpool delivery firm, bought by Shift group

Liverpool-based delivery firm Yodel said it has been acquired by YDLGP Limited, a newly formed company connected to logistics firm Shift, for an undisclosed amount.

YDLGP has also agreed terms to acquire Shift.

Yodel said: “YDLGP is backed by a consortium of investors including Solano Partners Ltd, an independent boutique investment bank who also advised on the acquisition, as well as the leadership team behind Shift, the rapidly growing UK-based logistics platform, including its founder, Jacob Corlett.”

Yodel had been owned by the Barclay family.

“With a wide-ranging and growing client base across diverse retail sectors, including very.co.uk, Wren Kitchens, Gousto, Vinted, Whistl and Argos, Yodel makes 190+ million deliveries annually from its 50 sites (47 customer delivery depots and 3 sortation hubs),” said Yodel.

“For the year ended 31 December 2023, Yodel generated £561.8 million revenue and has continued to take market share with new clients including Boden and Zalando.

“Yodel’s market position remains strong in the fast-growth Customer to Anywhere (C2X) market and will continue to increase its share of the market.

“Yodel also announces that its new owner, YDLGP, has agreed terms to acquire the entire issued share capital of Shift, the tech logistics scale up that acquired and relaunched Tuffnells in June 2023.

“Upon completion, the enlarged group will form a ‘super scale’ logistics platform serving both the parcels market through the Yodel business, and larger, irregular dimensions and weights (IDW) freight through the Tuffnells brand.

“Shift’s AI driven cutting edge technology platform would then become the platform that brings automation and efficiency to both businesses.

“The Shift leadership team will provide significant technology and operational expertise, having successfully turned around the fortunes of the Tuffnells brand.

“Furthermore, the deal and the access to capital it facilitates safeguards thousands of UK jobs, providing surety for drivers, suppliers and customers alike.”

Yodel CEO Mike Hancox said: “We’re extremely excited to begin the next chapter of Yodel’s journey, leveraging the scale of our business with the support of new shareholders and the future benefits of the Shift technology platform.

“Our customers have always been our priority and the transaction announced today allows us to ensure continuity for them, as well as our employees and wider stakeholders.”

Solano founding partner Jon Edirmanasinghe said: “We believe there is a fantastic opportunity to harness the strong brand and scale of Yodel in the UK and take further market share with the support of fresh capital and the innovative technology provided by the Shift team.

“We’ve seen the Shift team successfully acquire and relaunch the Tuffnells business and believe that forming the enlarged group to house all three creates a disruptive logistics powerhouse.”

Shift CEO Jacob Corlett said: “I am incredibly proud of what we have built at Shift in the last few years, rapidly scaling our tech-logistics platform, and M&A has been a big part of that success.

“At the heart of this merger is Shift’s revolutionary AI-driven technology platform, promising a future where efficiency and automation become the backbone of logistics operations.

“I look forward to working with Mike and the Yodel team, and with the support of YDLGP, continuing our journey building and scaling logistics through technology.”