Now that the government of China has unconditionally approved FedEx Corp.’s intended acquisition of TNT Express N.V., the massive deal is on track to close by June 30, according to the two firms. 

It was just over a year ago that FedEx announced its intention to purchase the Holland-based carrier for $4.8 billion. Back on April 6, 2015, the two parcel carriers said they had reached agreement on the 8-euro-per-share offer, which they said represented a premium of 33% over the latest stock closing price of April 2.

The acquisition was unanimously recommended by TNT Express’ Executive Board and Supervisory Board. Since then, the deal has gone through a series of regulatory approvals by various countries, culminating in the sign off on Friday of China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The companies said that the deal will forge “a strong global competitor in the transportation and logistics industry” that will benefit from “the combined strength of TNT Express strong European road platform and Liege hub and FedEx’s strength in other regions globally, including North America and Asia.”

Currently, United Parcel Service and Deutsche Post are the two biggest package carriers in Europe, followed by TNT and then FedEx.  It has been suggested the deal could enable FedEx to leapfrog to second place on the continent.

FedEx was not the first to court TNT. In March, 2012, UPS announced its intention to acquire TNT Express. But that deal fell through the following January, when the European Commission blocked it, citing anti-competition legislation.

“I want to thank the team members who collaborated with regulatory authorities around the world to help us reach this important acquisition milestone,” said David Bronczek, President and CEO, FedEx Express. “As we work towards closing the acquisition, we look forward to welcoming TNT Express team members to the FedEx family of companies as we expand our portfolio of solutions and connect even more people and possibilities.”

“With this final regulatory approval, we are one step closer to making the vision of combining the complementary networks of FedEx and TNT Express a reality,” said Tex Gunning, Chief Executive Officer, TNT Express. “This intended acquisition will bring value for our customers, shareholders and employees.”

TNT Express traces its roots to Australia, where in 1946  Ken Thomas started Thomas Nationwide Transport with a single truck. TNT starting growing globally in the 1970s and by the ‘80s, its growth focus was primarily on Europe. In the ‘90s, the Dutch national post-and-telecom company TPG was looking to expand overseas. It acquired TNT in 1996. Two years later, it divested its postal division and, in 2005, took on the TNT name.


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David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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