Red letter day: PostNL rejects Belgian takeover bid as ‘unsolicited’


Dutch postal delivery group PostNL has rejected a takeover bid by Belgian state-owned peer Bpost, describing it as an ‘unsolicited and conditional offer’.

Last week, Bpost made an ‘improved and friendly’ offer for PostNL, six months after initial talks on a takeover broke down. Bpost, which is majority owned by the Belgian state, is offering combination of cash and Bpost shares for PostNL, valuing the Dutch firm at €2.5bn.

In a statement, PostNL said its management and supervisory boards ‘have taken into consideration the interests of all PostNL’s stakeholders and consequently unanimously decided to reject the terms of Bpost’s unsolicited and conditional offer.’

In particular, the company said it is ‘confident about PostNL’s stand-alone strategy’ and that the offer did not represent ‘a sufficiently compelling value proposition’. Furthermore, PostNL said, the combined company would ‘still be controlled by the Belgian state’.

According to broadcaster NOS, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp is not happy with the offer and says a take over would be a retrograde step. PostNL, he pointed out, was privatised deliberately and is doing well as an independent company.

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