Dutch giant TNT NV hopes that someone out there will see the dynamite market potential of its logistics business. After months of rumors, the company announced late last year that it will sell its contract logistics division, TNT Logistics. TNT Logistics, which reportedly generates $4.3 billion in revenue annually, employs 37,000 people worldwide, including more than 6,000 who work for Jacksonville, Fla.-based TNT Logistics North America.
TNT is unlikely to find hordes of suitors flocking to its door, however. "The list of potential buyers cannot be that long," says Emilio Pedrinaci, an express analyst for Datamonitor, a London-based market research firm. For example, a year ago, Deutsche Post World Net would have been a likely contender, Pedrinaci says. However, because Deutsche Post World Net acquired Exel last year, it's doubtful that the EU commission would allow it to buy up another major logistics operator in Europe. Another heavyweight in the logistics segment, Wincanton, might not have the financial resources to complete a deal of this size, he adds.
But that still leaves at least one heavyweight in the running. "UPS ... has recently expressed interest in expanding its European express and logistics businesses in Europe via acquisitions," Pedrinaci says. And more importantly, UPS may have the wherewithal to bid on TNT Logistics. Compared to Deutsche Post World Net and Wincanton, the analyst notes, "[UPS] appears to be in a better position."