UPS, TNT in talks after 4.9 billion euro bid

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:24pm EST
 
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By Anthony Deutsch and Roberta Cowan

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS.N: Quote) is in talks with TNT Express TNTE.AS after its Dutch rival rejected a 4.9 billion-euro ($6.45 billion) cash bid, the companies said on Friday.

UPS made an offer of nine euros per share for all of TNT's issued capital, a premium of 42 percent over TNT's closing price on Friday of 6.343 euros.

"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 nine euros per share in cash," the U.S. firm said in a statement.

"We are open to advancing the talks, and we continue to be in discussions," Ernst Moeksis, spokesman for TNT Express, told Reuters.

UPS's bid emerged as activist shareholders in TNT stepped up calls for the company to shake up its board and increase shareholder value, which could include a takeover.

Analysts have put a price tag on TNT Express of about 5 billion euros.

The group has suffered declining revenues across all of its markets as the global economic slowdown led more customers to shun air transport in favor of cheaper shipping.

Listed in May after it split from delivery firm PostNL, TNT Express shares have fallen from a high of 10.20 euros on May 10 to a low of 4.46 euros on October 6.   Continued...

 
United Parcel Service cargo aircraft are loaded with air containers full of packages bound for their final destination at the UPS Worldport All Points International Hub during the peak delivery day in Louisville, Kentucky, December 22, 2011.   REUTERS/John Sommers II