(Fixes quote in third paragragh to show reference to
acquisition of Selektmail, not Sandd)
* Deal could take some pricing pressure off TNT
* Subject to Dutch watchdog approval
* TNT shares up 2.9 pct, outperforming index
By Greg Roumeliotis
AMSTERDAM, Jan 12 Dutch mail company Sandd said
on Wednesday it would buy Deutsche Post's (DPWGn.DE) unit
Selektmail, subject to regulatory approval, consolidating the
Dutch postal market where TNT TNT.AS dominates.
Private-equity owned Sandd, seen as a possible takeover
target, said the merger of the second and third-largest mail
firms in the Netherlands was expected to boost its market share
from 10 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2011.
"Consolidation could have gone both ways but today we are
announcing our acquisition of Selektmail. We will integrate the
delivery networks of the two companies and continue to focus on
the business market," Sandd spokesman Lukas Burgering said.
While officially the two companies are still negotiating,
the only condition left for the transaction to go through is for
the Dutch competition authority NMa to give the green light,
which is expected in the next couple of months, Burgering said.
Deutsche Post said it was looking into strategic options for
Selektmail, which has about 200 staff, and declined to comment
further. Neither party would disclose the value of the deal.
Shares in Dutch postal market leader TNT, which also
benefited on Wednesday from a rating upgrade by HSBC, hit a
four-month high and were up 2.9 percent to 20.2 euros at 1128
GMT, outperforming a 0.6 percent rise in Amsterdam's bluechip
"This deal could take some pricing pressure off TNT and
allow it to gain volumes. Both Sandd and Selektmail are
loss-making and Sandd is looking for cash in a deteriorating
pricing environment," Rabo Securities analyst Philip Scholte
Sandd has annual revenue of around 80 million euros while
Selektmail has sales of close to 55 million euros, Scholte said.
In 2009, TNT posted revenues of 4.22 billion euros, some 40
percent of the international group's total sales.
Although Sandd, which specialises in addressed mail for
business clients, delivering items such as magazines and
catalogues, is less vulnerable to the rise of electronic
communications, it has had to slash prices and keep overheads
low to compete with TNT.
In December, TNT, which is splitting mail from its express
unit, reached a deal with Dutch postal unions to cut the number
of forced lay-offs planned, ending strike action that threatened
to derail a possible mail unit sale. [ID:nLDE6BF03X]
Sandd, which launched a decade ago and derives its name from
"sort and deliver", is majority-owned and controlled by Dutch
investment firm Trimoteur.
In 2009, it had spoken to several mail operators, including
Deutche Post, about selling itself, a source familiar with the
matter told Reuters at the time.
Burgering declined to comment about any eXit plans Sandd
owners may have.
(Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by