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TNT Talked To Several Parties Last Year, Only UPS Made Offer

AMSTERDAM -(Dow Jones)- TNT Express NV (TNTE.AE) last year held talks with several parties about a potential acquisition before the Dutch shipping company in March agreed to an offer from U.S. rival United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), Supervisory Board chairman Antony Burgmans said Wednesday. In March, UPS said it had agreed to buy smaller rival TNT Express in an all-cash deal valuing the Dutch package shipper at EUR5.16 billion. In response to questions from shareholders at the annual meeting of shareholders, Burgmans said that while interest was moderate, the company did hold talks with other potential buyers. He added that only strategic parties expressed interest and talks didn't advance to a point where an offer was made. Analysts and shareholders have been speculating on the potential of U.S.-based FedEx Corp. (FDX) making a counterbid for TNT, although those hopes diminished after FedEx Chief Executive and founder Fred Smith reiterated his view that FedEx has no strategic need for a big acquisition in Europe. Smith declined to comment specifically on UPS's plan to buy Dutch company TNT Express. - By Robin van Daalen; Dow Jones Newswires; +31 20 571 52 01;

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