FedEx Corp. said on April 5 that it has agreed to acquire Polish courier company Opek Sp.z o.o for an undisclosed sum. The announcement came two weeks after FedEx Chairman Frederick W. Smith seemingly quashed any plans to make a multibillion-dollar bid for TNT Express as a way to expand FedEx's European presence.
Warsaw-based Opek generates about $70 million in annual revenue handling approximately 12.5 million shipments, mostly via ground. The family-owned company, founded in 1994, operates 44 stations throughout Poland. Memphis-based FedEx said the acquisition would expand its existing presence in that country—which it has served since 1989—and continue its strategy of smaller, so-called "tuck-in" acquisitions to expand its European network.
"In recent years, we have made significant investments throughout Europe, greatly expanding our network coverage and improving service to customers," Smith said in a statement. "We have an excellent strategy that has steadily advanced our position in the region, and we are well positioned for profitable growth as we increase the number of direct-served locations in Europe."
During a March 22 analyst call following the release of his company's fiscal 2012 third-quarter results, Smith appeared to end speculation that FedEx would counter rival UPS Inc.'s $6.8 billion offer for Netherlands-based TNT. Smith told analysts that FedEx is "confident in our plans to continue expansion, primarily through organic growth."
No counter-offer for TNT Express has emerged since UPS and TNT Express agreed to a revised buy-out deal on March 19.
FedEx says it has moved systematically to grow its European business in-house. In 2006, FedEx Express, the company's air and ground unit serving Europe, bought ANC Holdings Limited, a domestic U.K. express transportation company. In 2007, FedEx Express began a wholly-owned operation in Hungary after acquiring Flying Cargo Hungary Kft., its service provider there.
According to the company, FedEx Express has opened 26 stations in six European countries so far in its 2012 fiscal year.