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Explosive deal for healthcare logistics sector? UPS bids $7bn for TNT

By Gareth Macdonald , 22-Mar-2012
Last updated the 22-Mar-2012 at 13:47 GMT

Another deal impacting the Pharma logistics space this week with rumoured former World Courier suitor UPS agreeing to stump up €5.2bn ($6.8bn) for Dutch rival TNT Express NV.

The proposed takeover will see TNT’s logistics operations – which includes its recently launched PharmaSafe temperature-controlled vaccines and biologics shipping service – merged with UPS existing business. 

UPS spokesman Norman Black told Outsourcing-pharma.com that while TNT's healthcare logistics business was a factor in the acquisition “there are many motivations behind this deal, starting with the opportunity to create a global leader in the logistics industry," adding that "UPS has made very clear that the healthcare sector is a strategic priority, but there is no single TNT product or network that led to this deal.

Black also said it is too early to discuss how TNT employees will be affected as the takeover is not expected to complete until the third-quarter.

However, he did reveal that UPS plans to create an ‘integration committee’ of employees from both firms to manage the process.

It is premature to discuss the integration process that will follow shareholder acceptance of our offer. We anticipate a lengthy, four-year integration process because it will be guided by maintaining superior customer service.

Pharma logistics

News of the proposed deal follows hot on the heels of AmerisourceBergen’s announcement that it will buy World Courier , which is a specialised Pharma logistics firm that – according to rumours – was also a takeover target for both UPS and FedEx.

Black declined to comment on this speculation, but did reiterate that healthcare logistics is an area of priority for the UPS.

UPS has made on-going investments in our healthcare network over the past several years [Ed- most recently the acquisition of Italy’s Pieffe in December ] and has experienced double-digit growth.

We currently have more than 30 dedicated healthcare facilities across the globe in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America that spans five million square feet of distribution space. Healthcare is our fastest-growing industry segment.”

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