FedEx to acquire Dutch firm TNT Express for $4.8 billion

Associated Press

FedEx Corp. has agreed to take over Dutch delivery company TNT Express for $4.8 billion, bolstering its global business with an acquisition that rival UPS had attempted — but failed — to complete two years ago.

FedEx said Tuesday that it had reached a conditional agreement with TNT Express' management on an all-cash offer of $8.75 per TNT share. That represents a premium of 33% over the company's closing price before the deal was announced.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2016, pending shareholder approval. Dutch postal company PostNL, which owns a 14.7% stake in TNT Express, said it supports the bid.

The deal comes two years after United Parcel Service Inc. dropped its own $5.6-billion takeover bid for TNT Express, citing objections by European Union regulators worried about the company becoming too dominant.

TNT Express and FedEx said they are "confident that antitrust concerns, if any, can be addressed adequately in a timely fashion."

FedEx Chief Executive Fred Smith said the deal will enable the Memphis, Tenn., company "to quickly broaden our portfolio of international transportation solutions to take advantage of market trends — especially the continuing growth of global e-commerce — and positions FedEx for greater long-term profitable growth."

TNT Express CEO Tex Gunning said that although his company did not solicit the takeover bid, "we truly believe that FedEx's proposal, both from a financial and a nonfinancial view, is good news for all stakeholders."

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