Deutsche Post to takeover parcel firm UK Mail

A Uk Mail van. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

A Uk Mail van. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Deutsche Post has struck a deal to acquire UK Mail for £242.7m, a move which will see it go parcel to parcel with Royal Mail.

The German postal giant said on Wednesday that it is snapping up UK Mail, which has a depot at Little Melton, as part of a European expansion drive.

The takeover will create the second largest integrated mail and parcel operator in the country behind Royal Mail.

Deutsche Post board member Jurgen Gerdes said: 'The ongoing expansion of our parcel network in Europe is driven by increasing demand within our e-commerce customer base for cross-border deliveries.

'UK Mail is a well-run business and an established provider of quality delivery services in the UK and offers a complementary fit with our integrated offering.'

UK Mail was dogged by technical problems at a new sorting centre last year which meant bulky parcels had to be handled manually, resulting in higher costs that ate into profits.

The tie-up will see UK Mail shareholders receive 440p a share in cash and the offer assumes they will also be entitled to receive an interim dividend of 5.5 pence per UK Mail share.

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UK Mail directors are advising shareholders to vote in favour of the deal as they deem it 'fair and reasonable'.

Andrew Jeffs, partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance, said: 'UK consumers are amongst the most e-commerce savvy and the attractions of serving that market are behind this deal.

'UK Mail has had its own issues with the departure of its long-serving CEO and technical difficulties following the move to their new site causing the share price to halve in the last 18 months. Combined with the fall in sterling against the euro, Deutsche Post clearly saw a strategic buying opportunity.'