PostNL and Bpost end merger talks

Last week the story broke that the Belgian mail operator Bpost and PostNL were in talks over a potential merger. Today it was announced that the two companies have not been able to negotiate a deal. PostNL seems to be a very good buy for Bpost if merger talks are restarted.

According to a statement from the two companies today, ”PostNL confirms that it has conducted negotiations with bpost regarding a possible combination of the two companies through a friendly public offer by bpost on all shares of PostNL.”

This continued, “These negotiations have, in the end, not led to agreement on the terms of such a transaction.”

Bpost is now known to have made the approach in secret some weeks ago, in what was described as a ‘friendly offer’ to buy PostNL’s shares. The Belgian postal operator, which is majority owned by the Belgian government, has been diversifying out of the mail delivery market to offset its fall in mail volumes. As a result its turnover has been maintained even has volumes fell by about 6% last year.

PostNL has seen a drop in profits as well as mail volumes. The postal operator created and sold off TNT in 2011, that has been extremely successful and is in the process of being merged with US delivery company FedEx. The same may well happen with its parent company.

Where international mergers have failed more often than their domestic equivalents and are not a popular move these days, the two Benelux countries have a lot more in common than the US and Netherlands. There is something to be said for the two operators merging their sorting centres and parcel operations in the Flanders region in particular, so where the deal is off for now, don’t ignore the goings on there – the deal may indeed take place, albeit not as soon as speculated.