​Austrian Post has taken a 40 percent stake in German pharmaceutical logistics start-up AEP, it said, confirming German media reports.

A Post spokesman did not reveal the size of the investment, which fits its strategy of focusing more on logistics and package deliveries as the importance of letter post wanes.

Former Celesio executives Markus Eckermann and Jens Graefe are backing AEP, as is former Austrian Economy Minister Martin Bartenstein, the spokesman confirmed.

In a market hit by rebates and margin pressure, AEP aims to keep costs down, for instance by using a single central warehouse to deliver to pharmacies once a day rather than the standard two to three times.

Austrian Post’s trans-o-flex logistics unit now has around 70 percent of the German wholesale drugs market, delivering to around 12,000 pharmacies daily. (Reuters)