After weeks of talks, the Atlanta-based company sealed the deal by raising an initial offer of €9 a share to €9.5 a share for the Amsterdam-listed company. The acquisition, the biggest in the 105-year history of UPS, turns the American company into a serious rival to Germany's Deutsche Post, which owns DHL.
The deal also underlines the confidence that the world's major delivery and logistics companies have in the prospects for global growth. UPS, Deutsche Post and FedEx have all been major beneficiaries of the expansion of global trade.
UPS expects to make annual savings of between €400m and €500m from the deal and Scott Davis, chief executive of Us business, refused to rule out job cuts at a press conference yesterday in Amsterdam but "attrition" would be looked at first.
However, analysts warned that generating the savings could put jobs under threat. "With TNT about two times as large as UPS in Europe, this could affect more than 20,000 jobs in Europe alone," said Andre Mulder, an analyst at Kelper Capital Markets.
Mr Davis added that the TNT brand, whose origins stretch back to just after World War Two, will eventually disappear. Deutsche Post, which has itself been retreating from the US market since the financial crisis, said that it expects regulators to look very closely at the purchase of TNT, which is the second-largest parcel delivery company in Europe after DHL. UPS is confident it will win approval for buying TNT, which recorded a loss of €105m in 2011 as European economic growth slowed.