LDC and PostNL to form joint venture to roll out E2E delivery in the UK

London / The Hague – LDC and PostNL have reached an agreement to establish a joint venture, which will allow TNT Post UK to roll out its end-to-end (E2E) postal delivery service. The joint venture will provide the funding and expertise for the phased implementation of the E2E-service, following the successful trials in London and recent extension to Manchester. TNT Post UK is the largest provider of postal services in the UK after Royal Mail, and offers a broad and innovative product portfolio.

The joint venture will encompass all the current TNT Post UK operations, which includes the downstream access activities and will be led by the current TNT Post UK management team. The TNT Post UK ambitions for the roll out of the E2E network will be funded by LDC and RBS upon completion. This partnership will enable TNT Post UK to build its competitive position and continue to innovate the UK postal industry by providing choice and new and cost efficient services for customers.

Marcel Krom, PostNL Executive Committee member responsible for the international activities commented: "With this joint venture PostNL is able to maintain its strategy to be number 2 in the European markets in which it operates. The successful trials in London have shown that TNT Post UK can build a real, profitable alternative to Royal Mail, by meeting customer's demand for quality, innovative and cost effective services. PostNL is confident that the new combination will contribute to the positive development of a fast changing mail market."

Yann Souillard, Managing Director at LDC commented: "TNT Post UK represents a great opportunity to partner with an exciting business led by an ambitious and forward-thinking management team. The business' E2E strategy is an innovative and dynamic approach to postal delivery which should provide an exceptional platform for both customer requirements and the business growth plans."
The deal with TNT Post UK forms part of LDC's continuing strategy to invest in leading regional mid-market businesses whilst backing high calibre management teams.

PostNL will have a 40% stake in the joint venture. Under the new accounting rules for joint ventures, the financials of the UK activities will be equity accounted for after completion of the transaction (in the line "Investments in Joint Ventures and Associates"). Accordingly, the segment results of International will consist of Germany, Italy and Spring. The transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including approval by the European Commission and is expected to close early 2014. Further details will be provided at that time.

The deal was transacted by LDC's Reading team, led by Managing Director Yann Souillard and Investment Director Alex Clark. LDC and PostNL executed the transaction with support from a number of regionally based advisors, including Shoosmiths, Sullivan & Cromwell and HMT Corporate Finance.