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UPS Extends TNT Offer to November on Antitrust Procedures

UPS Extends Offer for TNT Until November on Antitrust Procedures
European Union regulators suspended their review of UPS’s bid for Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based TNT in mid-August to seek more information from the parties on the deal. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

United Parcel Service Inc. said it will extend the offer period for TNT Express NV by more than two months as the delivery companies await antitrust decisions on the 5.16 billion-euro ($6.4 billion) takeover plan.

TNT shareholders may tender stock until Nov. 9 instead of Aug. 31 because regulatory clearance won’t be received by the original deadline, Atlanta-based UPS said today in a statement. The companies “remain committed” to the plan “and are working to fulfill all offer conditions.”

European Union regulators suspended their Dec. 12 deadline for reviewing UPS’s bid for Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based TNT in mid-August to seek more information from the parties on the deal. UPS, the world’s biggest package-delivery company, is seeking to expand in Europe with the purchase, which would vault it to equal footing in the region with Deutsche Post AG’s DHL, the market leader.

Antitrust authorities are probably “looking at potential competition concerns in numerous countries, which makes me a bit scared,” even as delays in clearance are common, said Andre Mulder, an Amsterdam-based Kepler Capital Markets analyst who recommends buying TNT shares. “If they have to dispose of too many things, people could ask, what sense does it make,” as cost-savings may be harder to achieve.

TNT rose as much as 0.4 percent to 8.89 euros at 10:15 a.m. in Amsterdam, valuing the company at 4.83 billion euros. The current stock price is about 6.4 percent less than UPS’s offer of 9.50 euros a share cash, which TNT accepted in March. The euro has declined since the bid agreement was reached, reducing the dollar value of the offer from an initial $6.8 billion.

The tie-up with unprofitable TNT will immediately add to earnings on an adjusted basis once the takeover is done, UPS said in March. UPS and TNT expect to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter, the U.S. company said today.

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