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EC may block €5.2bn UPS-TNT Express merger

Setback for UPS.

The European Commission (EC) has indicated that it would block the proposed €5.2bn takeover of the Dutch delivery group TNT Express by the US parcel group UPS.

The European antitrust regulator, which blocked 22 mergers and acquisitions since 1989, believes that the UPS-TNT Express merger will make one of only two groups serving the European markets.

A commission spokesperson told the Financial Times: “The commission will take its decision by February 5.”

UPS has made attempts to win the EC approval with a package of remedies that included sale of its portfolio of European assets and rights to buy space on the UPS airline to the French delivery firm DPD.

Scott Davis, chief executive of UPS, said the company had “proposed significant and tangible remedies” for the commission’s concerns and that the transaction “would have been transformative for the logistics industry”.

TNT Express will receive a break fee of €200m from UPS for terminating the merger.

Bernard Bot, acting chief executive of TNT Express, said the company would “focus on executing our existing strategy” and that the company would release a new strategic review “in due course”.

Earlier, UPS offered to sell its assets in European markets to FedEx and DPD.

Meanwhile, shares of TNT Express declined by 49 per cent.