More Buying and Selling in European 3PLs

European mail and parcel company TNT recently announced it would exit the third party logistics field and concentrate on its core business. It mounted a stock buy-back program which has recently concluded. Now, the company is in the news again as the subject of a possible takeover by German investor Cornelius Geber.

Geber first expressed an interest in TNT in 2005, before the company had announced its decision to sell its logistics business. U.K.-based Transport Intelligence reports Geber has been linked to two private equity houses, but he could be acting in concert with a major carrier. Other speculation brings the name of U.S.-based UPS into play. UPS was also mentioned as a possible suitor for Exel prior to the disclosure that Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) had launched a bid to take over that U.K.-based third party logistics company (3PL).

UPS recently acquired U.K.-based courier Lynx which, according to Transport Intelligence, already has a U.K. postal license. UPS has also mounted efforts to establish itself in the German postal market which is due to be deregulated in 2007. With this platform in place, UPS has announced it will begin international mail services in Europe. That announcement could fan the flames of a TNT takeover rumor if, as some believe, Cornelius Geber is mounting acquisition efforts on behalf of another, as yet, unnamed party.

While the TNT saga plays out, stories have also surfaced that Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German railway company that recently acquired BAX Global, is under pressure to separate its Schenker division from the railway. The BAX acquisition bolstered the position of the international freight forwarding/highway transportation division by adding more air and ocean capability.

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