bpost still looking at PostNL
Belgium’s bpost has confirmed that it is still exploring the possibilities for a take-over of the Netherlands’ PostNL. In a statement sent to Post&Parcel this morning (2 November), bpost confirmed that it is “exploring internally a possible friendly approach to PostNL”.
bpost issued the statement after rumours of its continuing interest in PostNL appeared in the media – and the company was not pleased to have its hand forced.
In its statement, bpost said that it “is surprised about, and regrets, the inadvertent leakage of an internal and confidential working document leading to press reports about a possible enhanced proposal to PostNL”.
The statement continued: “Since the end of the prior discussions in May this year, bpost has continued to study internally the desirability, timing and content of a possible new approach to PostNL, and still believes in the merits of a possible combination with PostNL.
“These internal discussions have not yet reached the decision-making stage and have not led to a proposal for consideration by bpost’s Board of Directors. Accordingly, no decision has been made as to whether to initiate a new approach to PostNL or as to the content of a revised proposal.
“Since the end of May, there have not been any further discussions with PostNL on the structure or terms of a possible combination.
“bpost will carefully evaluate the current situation and will reconsider the timing of its decision-making. bpost will communicate to the market as soon as it is in a position to give more concrete guidance one way or the other.”
Market observers believe that the deal would be an attractive proposition. For example, David Kerstens, Equity Analyst with Jefferies International, commented: “A combination of bpost and PostNL would create Europe’s fourth largest postal operator, with revenues of over €6bn, triple bpost’s parcel revenues to €1.4bn, with market shares of 70% in the Belgian and Dutch B2C parcel segments, in an increasingly competitive and consolidating European parcel market, result in a more balanced profile by segment and unlock PostNL’s dividend streams relatively sooner.”