The Netherlands’ second largest mail group Sandd is in talks to sell all or part of the company, Reuters reported.
Deutsche Post and French state-owned La Poste among the interested parties, a source said on Wednesday.
“We are talking to many parties. We are talking with Deutsche Post and the French post service about a strategic exit,” said the source, who had direct knowledge of Sandd’s sales process.
Sandd, which launched a decade ago and derives its name from “sort and deliver” competes against former Dutch postal monopoly and is aiming for a market share in the country of 16 million of 20 to 25 percent. It is majority-owned and controlled by Dutch investment firm Trimoteur.
Sandd’s minority shareholders NIBC, a Dutch merchant bank, and Fortis Private Equity want to sell their stakes, the source said. Two other separate sources familiar with talks also confirmed that NIBCapital Principal Investments and Fortis Private Equity were interested in selling. Both bought shares in Sandd in 2005 from Trimoteur.
Sandd and NIBC declined to comment on the news.
Sandd as a whole could be worth between 25 and 50 million euros ($71.19 million) depending on the buyer and the synergies that could be created, ING analyst Axel Funhoff said.
“For Selekt Mail it would have the biggest value,” Funhoff said.
A second analyst, who declined to be named, estimated the value of Sandd at 32 million euros.
It could take several weeks or months before a final decision is made, said the source with direct knowledge of the sale, The source declined to comment on the value of the deals on the table, adding that it was also possible that no deal would be made, if talks over the price of the stakes or new shares to be issued break down.
The Netherlands completely opened the Dutch postal market in April, allowing Sandd and Deutsch Post’s Dutch unit Selekt Mail to deliver mail under 50 grams, a market which was estimated to worth about 1 billion euros in 2007.
Sandd handled 400 million pieces of mail in 2008 and posted revenue of 80 million euros.
The liberalisation of the Dutch market, which broke TNT’s partial monopoly, was an important factor that determined the timing of the exit of current shareholders.
“Because of the liberalisation the different stakeholders have asked themselves whether this is the right moment,” the source with direct knowledge said.
Foreign rivals may find it difficult to buy or take a stake in Sandd because their own countries had not fully liberalised their postal markets. All European postal markets, however, are expected to be liberalised in 2011.