FedEx rejects UPS offer of TNT Express assets-FT
LONDON Jan 8 (Reuters) - Informal approaches by United Parcel Service to FedEx to sell a package of TNT Express assets have been rebuffed by its U.S. rival, making it potentially harder for UPS to win approval for its takeover of the Dutch delivery group, the Financial Times reported.
FedEx is refusing to engage in serious talks unless they cover a bigger slice of the TNT business, the newspaper said on Tuesday.
The European Commission (EC), Europe's competition watchdog, is worried that the 5.2 billion euros ($6.8 billion) takeover by UPS, the world's no. 1 package delivery company, would leave only two other big players, Deutsche Post AG's DHL and U.S.-based FedEx.
In November, UPS and TNT said they planned to sell assets in order to meet European anti-trust concerns. Analysts and investors have said that FedEx wants the takeover to be blocked.
French mail group DPD is currently the sole contender to buy the assets, which cover TNT subsidiaries in at least 16 European Union countries including Spain, the FT cited several people familiar involved with the clearance talks as saying.
Joaquin Almunia, the EU's competition chief, is however cautious about a sale to DPD as it does not have an air network and would rely on buying space in aircraft from its rival, which has raised doubts about its future commitment to compete with UPS, the FT said.
A TNT spokesman declined to comment on the FT report but said UPS and TNT were fully committed to the deal and were working closely with the EC. Fedex declined to comment while the EC and UPS were not immediately available to comment.
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