PostNL and Sandd to ask Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to approve merger of postal networks

For an accessible, reliable and affordable postal service across the Netherlands

The Hague, the Netherlands, 5 September 2019 – PostNL and Sandd will ask the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to approve the merger of their postal networks, a next step after its licence application was rejected by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM by its Dutch acronym).

PostNL and Sandd disagree with the analysis and argumentation of the ACM decision. Developments in recent years, including the strong decline of postal volumes and lower results, as confirmed by the information provided by PostNL and Sandd, speak for themselves.

The continuing decline of mail volumes makes it very hard for postal operators to sustain their profitability. Consolidation is essential if the country’s postal services are to be kept reliable, accessible and affordable, across both urban and rural areas, safeguarding a sustainable postal service for all, including the elderly and socially vulnerable groups.

Combining the volumes of the two networks will generate economies of scale, a vital factor to ensure continuity. Consolidation will also facilitate a responsible social response to the consequences of the ongoing decline in the postal market.

PostNL and Sandd will now apply for approval under Article 47 of Dutch competition law, which mandates the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to apply a different framework, and allow for a wider range of considerations to be taken into account based on public interest, including employment, continuity and affordability of the universal postal service.

Additional information

This press release contains inside information within the meaning of article 7(1) of the EU Market Abuse Regulation.

Forward-looking statements

Some statements in this press release are “forward-looking statements”. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may occur in the future. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are outside of PostNL’s control and impossible to predict, and that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts, analyses and projections about the industries in which PostNL operates and management's beliefs and assumptions about possible future events. You are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only valid as of the date of this press release and are neither predictions nor guarantees of possible future events or circumstances. PostNL does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities law.