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Published: Sunday, 3/18/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago

UPS reportedly to pay $6.8 billion for TNT

American company said to sweeten bid for European package deliverer

NEW YORK — UPS has reached or is close to reaching a deal to buy European package delivery company TNT Express, according to media reports Sunday.

The online editions of the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal said the deal could be announced Monday. They put the price tag around $6.8 billion.

The newspapers cited unnamed people familiar with the talks.

The offer equates to 9.50 euros per share. A month ago, TNT rejected an “informal” offer from United Parcel Service Inc. at 9 euros per share. TNT shares closed Friday at 9.35 euros.

The shares closed at 6.34 euros before UPS made its initial offer in February.

A UPS spokesman said Sunday that she could not confirm the reports, but the company said Friday that it was still in talks and they were “constructive.”

TNT did not respond to a request for comment late Sunday European time.

TNT is based in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands. It is Europe’s second-largest express delivery company after DHL.

The acquisition would be the biggest ever for Atlanta-based UPS, which is the world’s largest delivery company.

TNT has a large incentive to strike a deal: There are no other bidders. If UPS walks away, TNT managers will be left explaining to shareholders why they turned down the initial offer, which was 42 percent above the share price at the time.

TNT’s annual meeting is April 11.

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