TNT Express Sells Chinese Trucking Business

TNT Express Sells Chinese Trucking Business

TNT Express has sold its domestic Chinese trucking business, TNT Hoau, kicking off the Dutch delivery company’s stand-alone strategy after a failed $6.8 billion takeover by UPS.

TNT did not say how much the buyer, CITIC PE, China’s state-owned private equity fund, is paying for Hoau, which it has owned since 2007.

It expects to close on the deal, which requires regulatory approval, in the second half of 2013, with part of the payment being settled in 2014.

Shanghai-based Hoau, which is thought to be marginally profitable, is one of China’s largest road distribution companies offering day-definite deliveries through a network of 1,500 depots serving more than 600 cities.

“In the past few years, Hoau has transformed itself into a leading nationwide operator in China. The change of ownership secures the ongoing growth and development of the company,” said Bernard Bot, TNT’s interim chief executive.

Following the deal, “TNT Express will focus on offering the broadest range of international services to and from China,” Bot said.

Bot said the sale of Hoau was “imminent” on Monday when he unveiled plans to shed 4,000 jobs, six percent of TNT’s payroll, shrink its intercontinental air capacity, and focus on its core European market, as it adjusted to European anti-trust regulators’ blocking the UPS takeover.

TNT is now looking for a buyer for its domestic Brazilian operation, which remains unprofitable but has reduced losses in the first two months of 2013.

The company said the restructuring program is targeting annual savings of 220 million euros ($282 million) and will result in a one-off charge of 150 million euros ($192 million).