PostNL – mail monopoly in Netherlands?

PostNL is to buy up all of its remaining shares of domestic mail delivery rival Sandd for €130 million. Currently PostNL delivers around 70% of Dutch domestic mail and Sandd the other 30%, with a major interest in B2B. This would create an effective parcel delivery monopoly in the Netherlands.

The acquisition is subject to approval from works councils and trades unions.

As part of the deal, PostNL is to employ all existing Sandd delivery personnel. For the rest of Sandd staff they will be offered opportunities within PostNL or other opportunities. The combination will enable PostNL and Sandd to create a strong basis for a nationwide Dutch postal network across urban and rural areas, safeguarding a sustainable postal service for everyone, including the elderly and socially vulnerable groups.

At the same time as PostNL and Sandd informing their staff of the plan, the announcement will be formally filed with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM), thus setting the approval process in motion.

Herna Verhagen, CEO PostNL said: “This proposed transaction will secure the foundation for a sustainable postal service in the Netherlands. Combining the two national postal networks is of vital importance for the postal market in the Netherlands to remain reliable, affordable, innovative and accessible for everyone. It will also serve increased long-term employment security for mail deliverers. This has always been an important objective of our efforts.”

Ronald van de Laar, managing director Sandd Holding: “I am very proud of what has been achieved by my colleagues following the liberalisation of the postal market. In responding to the ever-decreasing mail volumes in the Netherlands caused by digitalisation, we need to be realistic. For this reason, opting for one strong national postal network is the best long-term solution for the consumer, the business sector and for employees. It is the only solution if we are to guarantee the continuity of the postal service in the Netherlands. Issues affecting the integration of our networks and our employees will also be carefully discussed between us. The sooner we receive the necessary approval, the better it will be for all parties involved.”

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