TNT Express rejects acquisition offer from UPS

TNT Express confirmed today that it has received an acquisition offer from UPS, which was rejected by its board. But, it said discussions with UPS remained open. In a statement issued this afternoon, it confirmed the offer from its rival integrator was made for the whole of its issued capital, at an indicative price level of EUR 9 per ordinary share.

The offer would value TNT Express at around EUR 5bn.

“The TNT Express N.V. Supervisory and Executive Boards have carefully considered the indicative proposal and explored its rationale, merits and risks for shareholders and all other stakeholders,” said the statement from TNT Express.

“The TNT Express N.V. boards have rejected the proposal. They have informed UPS accordingly but continue to be in discussions.”

TNT Express has had a troubled time since demerging from Dutch postal service PostNL, which retains a 30% share of the integrator. Since December, it has faced demands from leading shareholders other than PostNL for fresh appointments to the board to steer it out of trouble.

Earlier this month, TNT’s board rejected proposals by shareholder Jana Partners to appoint former TNT CEO Alan Jones and former US Airways CEO David Siegel to the board.

TNT proposed its own board-level appointments, in the form of Sara Lee Corporation CEO Marcel Smits and Holland Financial Centre chairman Sjoerd van Keulen, who Jana roundly criticised as having no transport sector experience.

UPS is looking to build its presence in Europe, and this week announced its acquisition of e-commerce delivery network Kiala, which has a presence in Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, France and Spain.

The Atlanta-based shipping giant said in a statement today: “UPS confirms that, on 11 February, 2012, following discussions with TNT, it made a revised, increased and comprehensive proposal to acquire the entire issued share capital of TNT for EUR9 per share in cash.

“Discussions between the parties concerning this proposal are ongoing, although there is currently no certainty that any agreement will be reached. Further details will be provided when appropriate,” added the UPS statement.

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