TNT Express not expecting bid from FedEx-source

NEW YORK – Dutch delivery firm TNT Express is not expecting U.S. rival FedEx to trump a 4.9 billion euros ($6.5 billion) takeover bid from United Parcel Services, a source close to TNT said on Thursday.

TNT last week rejected a 9 euros per share cash offer from UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, but is still in talks with its U.S. suitor.

TNT’s shares jumped to an all-time high of 10.24 euros this week partly on hopes that FedEx, which has flirted with the idea of buying TNT for years, might trigger a bidding war.

“The last discussion we had with them (FedEx) didn’t give us the impression that they were ready to make a move”, the source said, adding he had sounded out FedEx’s intentions very recently.

While FedEx sees strategic value in combining with TNT, it feels the price has become too expensive to do a deal at this point, another source close to the situation said.

The sources asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak with the media.

FedEx and TNT declined to comment.

Some analysts said FedEx could be better off scooping up assets that competition regulators might require UPS to sell if it succeeds in winning over its Dutch target.

Sources close to the talks between UPS and TNT said a combined firm would need to make significant asset sales in Europe – the Netherlands, Britain and Germany in particular – to win regulatory approval.

“You could see some assets that are displaced or some market share opportunities that come from the deal as well that could benefit FedEx,” said Benjamin Hartford, senior research associate at Robert W. Baird.