Freight specialist FedEx has reached a conditional agreement to acquire TNT Express, two years after a similar takeover bid by UPS collapsed.

TNT Express’ airline operation will be divested as part of the deal, in order to comply with European carrier ownership regulations.

FedEx is making an all-cash offer of €8 ($8.70) per share for TNT Express, valuing the company at €4.4 billion.

The offer represents a premium of around one-third over the 2 April closing price for TNT stock.

TNT Express says its board has “unanimously” recommended the offer and shareholder PostNL is backing the bid, tendering its near-15% stake.

The deal has a “high level” of certainty, it adds.

UPS had previously attempted to acquire TNT Express but failed to convince European Commission regulators who blocked the takeover on competition grounds.

It had been prepared to pay €9.50 per share.

FedEx and TNT say they are “confident” that their tie-up will be cleared by competition authorities, with any anti-trust concerns “addressed adequately in a timely fashion”.

Under the FedEx agreement the TNT Express hub in Liege will be maintained as a “significant operation”, says TNT, adding that the two sides expect the transaction to close in the first half of 2016.

Source: Cirium Dashboard