TNT Jumps on Report Takeover by FedEx to Win EU Clearance

  • Shares gain by most since April as antitrust approval reported
  • UPS ended a previous attempt to buy TNT after EU opposition

TNT Express NV, the Dutch express-delivery company that U.S. competitor FedEx Corp. plans to buy, jumped the most in 6 1/2 months after Reuters reported the European Union will give antitrust clearance to the $4.8 billion takeover.

EU regulators will unconditionally approve the transaction, the newswire reported, citing two people familiar with the transaction. Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx is making “timely progress" in working with the EU on the purchase, spokeswoman Erin Truxal said Tuesday.

TNT rose as much as 11 percent, the steepest intraday gain since April 7, and was trading up 10 percent at 7.55 euros as of 4:57 p.m. in Amsterdam, with more than 16 million shares exchanged, seven times the daily average. FedEx is offering 8 euros a share.

The planned takeover has faced some skepticism from investors because of the collapse in 2013 of U.S. rival United Parcel Service Inc.’s 9.50-euro-a-share offer for TNT after EU regulators said that bid would hamper competition. TNT shares traded as low as 6.60 euros this month, or 18 percent below the offer price.

Cyrille Gibot, a spokesman at Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based TNT, and European Commission representatives declined to comment on the status of the review. FedEx’s Truxal reiterated that the U.S. company expects the transaction to close in the first half of next year, and it’s working “constructively” with the authorities.

Clearance of the deal would allow FedEx, currently No. 4 in the European market, to add vehicles, staff and customers in the region to take on Bonn-based Deutsche Post AG’s DHL and UPS. The Atlanta-based competitor still has an appeal pending over its vetoed deal with TNT and is trying to persuade the EU to also disallow FedEx’s approach, people familiar with the European merger probe told Bloomberg this month.

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