Dutch logistics company TNT rejects UPS' unsolicited US$6.43B acquisition bid; companies exploring other possible outcomes

Alison Gallant

Alison Gallant

Feb 17, 2012 – Associated Press

NEW YORK , February 17, 2012 (press release) – Dutch logistics co. TNT rejects UPS' unsolicited $6.43 bid, but companies continue talks

United Parcel Service, the world's largest package delivery company, is still in talks to acquire TNT Express even after the Dutch package delivery company rejected a $6.43 billion bid.

The bid works out to €9, or about $11.84, per share. That's based on TNT's 534.2 million outstanding shares.

TNT, Europe's second-largest express delivery company, said Friday that its supervisory and executive boards carefully considered the proposal from UPS Inc., which is based in Atlanta. Both companies confirmed they are still talking about other possible outcomes.

UPS said there is no guarantee that they will reach middle ground and make a deal. If UPS were to successfully buy TNT, it would significantly expand its business in Europe.

UPS last week announced plans to buy a small Belgian e-commerce company, Kiala.

TNT, which is based in Amsterdam, has been seen as a takeover target of either UPS or smaller rival FedEx Corp. for some time. Deutsche Bank analyst Justin Yagerman said in a note to clients Friday that he doesn't expect FedEx will go after TNT, preferring instead to continue its plan of acquiring smaller companies in Europe.

Last month, TNT detailed plans to split its express and mail businesses and said its CEO will step down after that separation is complete. That's expected sometime next year.

The company's express operations are growing, but its mail business is struggling with lower volume and disputes over layoffs. In November, it reported third-quarter net profit fell by more than half to 5 million euros, reflecting weak margins in its European businesses and losses at its operations in high-growth emerging markets.

Shareholders are set to vote on the separation in May.

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