UPS plans to deliver £8bn bid for TNT
American delivery service United Parcel Service (UPS) is understood to be preparing a €10bn (£7.8bn) bid for Dutch rival TNT, in a long-heralded move that would create a new global delivery giant.
Early-stage talks about a deal are thought to have been ongoing in the last few days, after years of speculation about a takeover from UPS or its American competitor FedEx.
And UPS is now understood to have made an informal approach to TNT, which competes with it for business in Europe.
The global courier industry has been ravaged by rocketing fuel costs, sending the share prices of UPS, FedEx and European counterparts TNT and DHL plummeting.
Mergers now look an attractive option for courier firms as they look to cut costs through consolidation.
Rumours of a buyout from FedEx or UPS have circulated for years, but UPS looks poised to pounce on TNT, with the aim of expanding its European reach and slashing costs.
UPS has appointed American investment bank Morgan Stanley as its adviser, which has in turn brought in strategy consultants AT Kearney to carry out research on TNT.
Any takeover is likely to involve the sale of TNT’s postal division, which has grown slower than hoped, possibly to a private equity buyer. Goldman Sachs is advising TNT.
UPS may also look to partner up with a buyout firm, with CVC thought to be interested.