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FedEx Corporation : FedEx In Talks To Buy French Express Shipping Firm Tatex

04/17/2012 | 10:39am US/Eastern

FedEx Corp. (FDX) is in talks to potentially acquire Tat Express, a French express-transportation company, as it looks to further its European expansion plans.

Tatex, founded in 1976, has more than 1,000 employees and carries more than 19 million parcels a year, representing an annual turnover of about EUR150 million ($196.6 million).

Express shipper FedEx agreed earlier this month to acquire Opek Sp.z o.o., a privately held Polish shipping company.

The moves come as rival United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) reached a blockbuster $6.8 billion deal last month for Dutch shipper TNT Express as it sought to strengthen its European operations. Analysts at the time said the bid was a "strategic block" that took away FedEx's most likely entry into the European ground market.

Last month, FedEx said it was reducing capacity in its U.S. domestic express business, where volume slumped 4% in its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 29. FedEx was slightly more upbeat regarding its international express business, saying metrics have been improving. Volume slumped 1% in FedEx's international priority shipping, although international domestic volume climbed 51%, boosted significantly by recent acquisitions.

-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; melodie.warner@dowjones.com

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