UPS Says TNT Deal Won’t Close Until 2013 After Extended EU Probe

Published by Bloomberg Business Week

United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) said it doesn’t expect to close the 5.16 billion-euro ($6.5 billion) purchase of TNT Express NV (TNTE) until the first quarter after the European Union extended its review of the deal.

UPS, which had anticipated completion this year, also pushed back the deadline for TNT shareholders to respond from Aug. 31 to Nov. 9 because antitrust clearance won’t be received by the original deadline, the Atlanta-based company said today.

EU regulators resumed a probe of the bid for Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based TNT on Aug. 23 after suspending it earlier in the month to seek more information, setting a new deadline of Dec. 20 to rule on the deal. UPS, the world’s biggest package- delivery company, is seeking to expand in Europe with a bid that would vault it to equal footing with Deutsche Post AG (DPW)’s DHL.

“UPS and TNT Express remain committed to the offer and are working closely to fulfill all offer conditions,” the companies said in today’s joint statement.

TNT fell 0.1 percent to 8.88 euros in Amsterdam prior to the announcement, which came after the close, for a value of 4.82 billion euros. The price is about 6.5 percent below UPS’s cash offer of 9.50 euros a share, which TNT accepted in March.

The euro has declined since the bid agreement, reducing the dollar value of the offer from an initial $6.8 billion.

The tie-up with unprofitable TNT would immediately add to earnings on an adjusted basis, UPS said in March.