Sunday 26 January 2020

ASL Aviation acquires part of TNT Express to aid €5.1bn UPS buyout

Thomas Molloy

DUBLIN-BASED ASL Aviation is buying the airline operations of TNT Express as the Dutch firm pushes to ensure a proposal by UPS to buy it for €5.1bn isn’t scuppered.

ASL Aviation group is headquartered in Dublin but controlled by Belgian shipping company Compagnie Maritime Belge and minority shareholder 3P Air Freighters.

The sale to ASL should bring the takeover of TNT by UPS a significant step closer. No purchase price by ASL was disclosed. The flight operations' sale depends on the completion of the merger of UPS and TNT Express, the Dutch company said today.

TNT Express and UPS had said in their takeover agreement that TNT's airlines would be sold to comply with European Union rules that forbid a non-EU entity from owning or controlling 50pc or more of an EU airline operator.

The European Commission last month warned UPS, the world's no 1 package delivery firm, about the combined company's high market share and said it would be seeking concessions before it approves the deal.

The airline's ownership transfer is not expected to impact activities at TNT Express's hub in Liege, Belgium, for at least a year following completion of the proposed UPS-TNT Express deal, TNT Express said.

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