UPS extends TNT Express offer deadline by 10 weeks

UPS today confirmed it is extending the deadline for its EUR 5bn offer for rival TNT Express by 10 weeks. The US integrator agreed its EUR 9.50 per share offer for its Netherlands-based counterpart back in March, and made the offer formally in June.

But while it originally set a deadline for TNT Express shareholders to approve the deal by 31st August, last month the European Commission said it needed more time to examine its concerns about the impact of the merger on competition in the EU express market.

Today in a joint statement UPS and TNT Express confirmed that the offer deadline will now be extended until 9th November 2012. UPS will formally confirm the new deadline through regulatory circles on 5th September.

As UPS announced the deadline extension today, the two companies reiterated their belief that the acquisition would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In their joint statement, the companies said they remained “committed” to the offer and were working closely to fulfill its conditions, which include the requirement that 80% of TNT Express shareholders are willing to sell to UPS.

“Under the terms of the €5.16 billion ($6.28 billion) Offer, UPS will acquire TNT Express to create a service leader in the logistics industry and an enhanced, integrated global network. The complementary strengths of both organizations will create a customer-focused global platform that will be a leader in transportation technology and customer service,” the companies said in their statement.

“The combined network will help facilitate the flow of trade, making customers more competitive not just in U.S. and European markets, but also in markets across Asia and Latin America – helping to stimulate much needed economic growth.”

Probe

The EU Commission is carrying out a “Phase 2” investigation into the UPS-TNT merger, having already conducted an initial investigation since May. The Commission has said it has concerns about the market share of the combined company in areas including the express delivery segment within certain European countries.

The Commission has set a 12 December 2012 deadline for its Phase 2 investigation, but last week suspended the process while it seeks additional information from the parties involved.

UPS spokesman Anton Van der Lande told Post&Parcel today that while the EU antitrust investigation is set to continue into December, Dutch regulatory authorities allow only a 10-week extension of a formal offer, hence the 9th November deadline.

Acquiring TNT Express is expected to see UPS ending up with a turnover of around EUR 45bn a year, closing in on the EUR 53bn annual turnover of the world’s biggest integrator, Deutsche Post DHL.

Last year TNT Express recorded a EUR 272m loss on a revenues of EUR 7.3bn.

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