Monday, March 19, 2012

UPS Buys TNT Express

Lots to sort through and think about. In particular, integration of European operations - lots of overlaps. 

According to news articles, the integration process is expected to take a while. In the meantime, it appears TNT will continue to be run as a separate entity.

It's doubtful DHL will remain quiet for much longer.

From today's Ti newsletter:

After years of rumors and a comparatively short offer-period, UPS has agreed to buy TNT Express for $6.77bn.
In an announcement this morning (Monday 19th) the boards of the two companies issued a joint statement outlining the price and the conditions of the sale. The statement also included a report on the position of the dominant shareholder, Post NL, committing it “irrevocably” to the deal.

It appears the TNT Express will continue as a separate entity for some time rather than its assets being wholly absorbed into the European divisions of UPS. The statement asserted that “all employee rights, covenants, and benefits under current ownership will be respected.” This may refer to agreements with the workforce over pensions and other benefits which were rumored to be an important aspect of the negotiations to buy the company.
Importantly the statement also continues: “UPS undertakes to create a meaningful center of excellence for marketing, sales and operations in the Netherlands. UPS recognizes the significant value of TNT Express’ operations, assets and people in Liege and will seek to continue the future utilization of these operations, assets and people within the combined group.” This appears to suggest that UPS’ European headquarters will move to Amsterdam and more clearly that the Liege hub will remain in operation. The implications for existing UPS operations in Europe may be significant.

UPS is financing the deal out of a mix of US$3bn in cash and “new debt arrangements.”

Stay tuned. More to come....