PostNL reaches agreement on Whistl MBO
PostNL and the management of Whistl have reached an agreement on the main conditions of a management buy out of Whistl, following PostNL’s strategic review of its activities in the UK. In a statement published today (30 July), PostNL said: “This transaction will allow Whistl to develop its current profitable activities and strengthen its position in the UK. As part of the transaction PostNL will retain 17.5% of the shares in Whistl and will continue supporting the business as a shareholder.”
The transaction is slated to close later this year and PostNL expects it will “negatively impact its consolidated equity” by between €20m and €25m.
“The finalisation is subject to a number of conditions, including the financing of the management buy out,” added the PostNL statement.
Whistl also issued its own announcement this morning, in which it stated that “PostNL and Whistl are working hard to get the final detail of the deal concluded as quickly as possible”.
The Whistl statement added: “Following this transaction Whistl will be able to develop its current portfolio of activities and build its leading position in the UK postal market. Currently Whistl’s core DSA business has over 56% market share in the UK handling around 3.75bn items of mail, alongside an established Door Drop Media division. In addition there are growing Packets and Parcels and Logistics divisions.”
Nick Wells, the CEO of Whistl, commented: “Through a management led company, Whistl will continue to build upon its entrepreneurial heritage. We will continue to challenge, innovate and provide great service to customers, whilst retaining the support of PostNL.”
As previously reported, Whistl launched an end-to-end (E2E) UK mail delivery service in 2012, but terminated the service in June this year. In January 2014, Whistl filed a complaint with Ofcom about Royal Mail. On Tuesday this week (28 July), Ofcom submitted a Statement of Objections to Royal Mail in which it set out its “provisional view” that Royal Mail “breached competition law by engaging in conduct that amounted to unlawful discrimination against postal operators competing with Royal Mail in delivery”.