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FedEx To Acquire French Express Shipper Tatex; Terms Undisclosed

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES FedEx Corp. (FDX) agreed to acquire Tat Express, a French express-transportation company, adding to recent efforts to expand its operations in Europe. Financial details of the transaction weren't disclosed. Tatex, according to FedEx, carries 19 million parcels a year and generates annual revenue of about EUR150 million ($194.1 million). It employs more than 1,000 employees and has a central hub in the town of Lieusaint, south of Paris. "The Tatex business complements FedEx existing operations in the French market, and will enable the company to provide additional local services in one of Europe's largest geographies, to its customers around the world," said Chief Executive Frederick W. Smith. FedEx first entered the French market in 1985. The shipping giant last month revealed it was in talks to acquire Tatex just weeks after it struck an agreement to acquire Opek Sp.z o.o., a privately held Polish shipping company. Rival United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) in March reached a $6.8 billion deal to acquire Dutch shipper TNT Express in an effort to strengthen its European operations. Analysts at the time said the bid was a "strategic block" that took away FedEx's most likely entry into the European ground market. Discussing fiscal third-quarter results in March, Smith said he was confident in FedEx's plans "to continue expansion [in Europe] primarily through organic growth." Shares closed Wednesday at $87.13 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 4.3% since the start of the year, lagging gains in the overall market. -By Mia Lamar, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3207; mia.lamar@dowjones.com

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