TNT Express to sell domestic road network in India

TNT Express has found a buyer for its loss-making domestic road network in India, as it seeks to withdraw to focus on its international business. New York and Mumbai-based private equity group India Equity Partners will buy the operations for an undisclosed amount, integrating the business into a logistics subsidiary.

The sale is expected to take effect on 30 December.

TNT Express said it had carried out an extensive review of prospects for its domestic road business in India before deciding to sell. The company will continue to offer shipments into and out of India via its global network, and said it will also continue to provide some customer-specific special services, such as for healthcare customers.

As part of the deal, the IEP logistics subsidiary will become preferred partner for TNT Express in providing domestic road deliveries within India.

In a statement, TNT Express said: “TNT and IEP will work together to ensure a seamless transition. The domestic road senior management and most employees (approximately 1,000) will move to the new employer. On-the-ground facilities, IT and systems and processes will be supported by TNT Express during the transition process.”

TNT Express bought into the Indian market with dreams of tapping a key emerging market, by acquiring Associated Road Carriers (ARC) India in 2006, a company that operated under the brand name Speedage Express. At the time, it had an annual turnover of around EUR 17m, with 514 depots, 26 transit hubs and 730 vehicles.

In its “Vision 2015” strategy as unveiled at the end of 2009, TNT stated its ambition to expand its Indian road network to link up with its Asia Pacific road network.

IEP’s logistics portfolio includes stakes in Swastik Roadlines Private Limited, a coldchain specialist that operates under the trade name ColdEx and Fourcee Infrastructure Equipments Limited, a liquid cargo transportation specialist.

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