Yodel saved from collapse in last-minute rescue deal

Yodel, one of the UK’s largest delivery groups, has been saved from collapse by a consortium led by rival operator Shift, saving thousands of jobs.

The consortium, a newly formed company dubbed YDLGP, is backed by Shift executives and merchant bank Solano Partners. The deal was struck early on Tuesday morning and first reported on by Sky News.

Yodel makes around 190 million deliveries annually from its 50 sites and has clients including Argos, AO World, John Lewis, Very and Zara. The company generated £561.8m in revenue in 2023, but has struggled to be profitable and recently was said to have been lacking funds to pay drivers.

Yodel last week alerted administrators ahead of a potential collapse having failed to secure a buyer, but Sky reports that this last-minute deal was struck on a solvent basis without the need to call in administrators. It is currently unclear how much the deal is worth.

The report notes that YDLGP will also acquire shift to create a delivery ‘powerhouse’, with Shift founder Jacob Corlett last year also acquiring parts of struggling logistics group Tuffnells.

In comments confirming the deal, Mike Hancox, chief exec of Yodel, 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."

Shift’s 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."

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