TNT Leaps on Report Fedex in Talks to Buy It

Shares of Dutch mail company TNT jumped almost 30 percent on Monday after a report over the weekend that FedEx is in preliminary talks to acquire it.

The Financial Times newspaper reported FedEx wanted to add to its European parcel delivery service and that both United Parcel Service and FedEx have "coveted" TNT's European parcel business.

TNT declined to comment on the report.

"Such a move would make a lot of strategic sense for FedEx, given its predominantly US-business gearing and the weakness in the US Express market," said ING analyst Axel Funhoff in a note.

"Should FedEx make a formal bid for TNT -- there could be a quick counter bid from UPS, who should be equally interested in TNT but which has deeper pockets."

TNT shares were up 27 percent at 23.57 euros, making it the main gainer in the DJ Stoxx industrial goods and services index, which was up 2.1 percent.

The Dutch firm has often been seen as a takeover target for its bigger peers but analysts have said that current stock market turmoil had doused the speculation somewhat.

Europe's second-biggest mail and logistics company by market value, TNT is expected to lose its remaining monopoly in its lucrative domestic Dutch market this year, with competitors already eating into its market share and profitability.

"This should be old news, but perhaps the ugly headline print might provoke a little euro downside especially if equity markets start strong, enabling the dollar to capitalize on any modest gains in risk appetite."